DTN Livestock Midday: Cattle Contracts Lower, African Swine Fever Outbreak Growing

Thursday’s headline of lower markets only gets worse when news continues to break about more confirmed outbreaks of African swine fever.

General Comments

Cattle markets drop lower and lower and the world’s fight with African swine fever continues. Livestock markets aren’t performing well Thursday with feeder cattle and lean hog contracts taking the biggest losses.

December corn is up 3 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is up $2.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 21.25 points and NASDAQ is up 16.67 points.

LIVE CATTLE

Live cattle prices are weaker Thursday morning. The December market opened steady but has since softened and is trading $0.07 lower at $113.80. All other markets are taking the day’s arrival harder ranging $0.12 to $1.00 lower. Thursday’s hesitant nature isn’t going to summon higher cash prices easily.

A bid of $173 has been placed in Nebraska and bids of $175 in Iowa, but as of right now it looks as if this week will be a later trading week again. Still unaware of the explosion’s mass and importance, Cargill announced Thursday morning that a standalone building as part of the Dodge City, Kansas, plant exploded. The plant will be close as a precautionary measure. Cargill plans to meet all its supply commitments to beef buyers.

Midday boxed beef prices are up: choice up $0.51 ($218.79) and select up $0.06 ($191.43). Thursdays offering of boxed beef totals 55 loads (28.82 loads of choice, 10.32 loads of select, 5.25 loads of trim and 10.69 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

All feeder cattle markets are down over $1.00 with some markets nearing $2.00 lower. October feeder cattle are down $1.50 at $143.75, and November feeder cattle are down $2.00 at $143.92.

Is it weakness seeping over from the live cattle market? Is it the market correction that analysts have been muttering about? Or is it more industry based and a reflection of saturated sale barn markets? Regardless of the reason, feeder cattle markets are down and don’t look promising for the rest of the day.

LEAN HOGS

With more alarming news of new cases of African swine fever, the lean hog market softens, and U.S. hog producers eagerly wait for a more news about export opportunities. December lean hogs are down $2.37 at $68.25. Nearby contracts are taking the day’s storm the hardest, deferred contracts are lower but most still only gave up less than 50 cents.

Thursday morning news broke that the small island of Timor-Leste has had 100 confirmed outbreaks of the disease, and at least 400 mortalities. The island is only 400 miles from Australia.

The projected lean hog index for 10/16/19 is up $0.96 at $64.90, and the actual lean hog index for 10/15/19 came to $63.94, up $1.02. Prices are down on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $1.03 with a weighted average of $57.65, ranging from $54.00 to $60.00 on 3,100 head sold and a five-day rolling average of $57.55.

Pork cutouts totaled 175.26 loads with 143.84 loads of pork cuts and 31.42 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are down $1.04 at $76.68.

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