DTN Livestock Midday: Lack of Common Ground

    ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

    In light of Monday’s market strength, cattle contracts are teetering with little direction while the hog market wastes no time finding higher prices for the day.

    General Comments

    Live cattle contracts struggle to find direction in whether the week should be higher, lower or simply steady. Feeder cattle markets are somewhat softer, and the hog sector continues to break into new gains.

    December corn is down 3 1/4 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is down $1.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 251.54 points and NASDAQ is up 97.58 points.


    One minute the live cattle market flashes various contracts growing with support and then the next minute whatever hope was wished upon is simply gone. Tuesday morning live cattle opened a tick higher $113.52 but has since gone down to $113.17.

    Monday and Tuesday markets are very much the same, if you’re buying you know that the week is most volatile and likely to give up ground in the early days, where as in the later part of the week if cash prices are in favor of countryside sellers it’s hard to count on lower prices.

    Tuesday’s market is performing just like that: little to no direction, happy to go up or happy to go down with the slightest cue and hardly any reason behind movement. It’s likely the market will continue to banter back and forth unless something significant happens throughout the day.

    This week there are 768 head of cattle consigned to the Fed Cattle Exchange from Kansas, Texas and Nebraska with most pens selling for one-to-nine-day delivery, and one pen in Nebraska selling with the option of one-to-17-day delivery.

    Midday boxed beef prices are up: choice up $0.52 ($217.74) and select up $1.14 ($190.47) with a light offering of boxed beef movement totaling 77 loads (37.32 loads of choice, 17.95 loads of select, 4.39 loads of trim and 17.67 loads of ground beef).


    With little confidence in what live cattle market is doing and knowing that the countryside market is going to be overflowing with calves this week, the feeder cattle board is down anywhere from $0.32 to $0.82. November feeder cattle opened at $145.97 and now are trading at $145.02. On this day a year ago, feeder cattle were trading for $155.10.


    It almost seems as though the lean hog market knows something that the rest of us don’t. Hog contracts have wasted no time Tuesday finding support and rallied off higher cutout values, aggressive movement and plenty of packer inquiry. All nearby and deferred contracts are claiming gains ranging from $0.05 to $2.65. The December lean hog contract is up $2.62 at $71.77.

    The projected lean hog index for 10/14/19 is up $0.81 at $62.92, and the actual lean hog index for 10/11/19 comes to $62.11 up $0.93. Prices are up on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.59 with a weighted average of $58.75, ranging from $53.00 to $62.00 on 11,661 head sold and a five-day rolling average of $56.11.

    Pork cutouts totaled 203.89 loads with 186.60 loads of pork cuts and 17.30 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are up $1.29 at $79.23.

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