DTN Livestock Midday: Feeder Cattle Show Signs of Strength

Photo: Dr. Jenny Jennings, Texas A&M AgriLife

The feeder cattle market shows some signs of strengthening power while cohorts (lean hog & live cattle markets) lag behind.

General Comments

There isn’t a perfect symphony of chirping birds and soft whispering wind, but some livestock markets want to rally while other livestock markets want to tumble. The livestock sector is a mixed bag Tuesday morning as the lean hog sector is down significantly, the live cattle market is mixed and yet the feeder cattle market is trading somewhat higher.

December corn is down 1/4 cent per bushel and December soybean meal is down $0.50. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 82.70 points and NASDAQ is down 10.85 points


Live cattle prices have struggled to find support Tuesday morning but are inching up as the clock continues to tick. December live cattle are up $0.15 at $114.02, and as more time passes by, other contracts are warming up, too. The countryside remains quiet with only a few Southern asking prices being posted at $110-plus. Consigned to Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange there are two pens of heifers available, one pen from Texas and one from Kansas, with delivery of one-to-nine days totaling all together only 231 head.

Midday boxed beef cutouts are higher: choice up $0.75 ($220.88) and select is up $3.34 ($197.78). Tuesday’s midday moved beef movement totals 53.96 loads (32.72 loads of choice cuts, 11.25 loads of select cuts, no loads of trim and 9.99 loads of ground beef).


Despite all other livestock markets either being lower or indecisive, the feeder complex is trading merely steady in the spot October market but $0.70 to $1.00 higher in deferred contracts. November live cattle are up $0.75 at $143.60 and the biggest market gain is being seen in the January 2020 contract – up $1.00 at $140.10. If the feeder cattle rally is able to close the day higher, and welcome Wednesday with the same energy it could help sale barns keep their strong market undertones as well.


The heavy resistance at $74.50 pushes the December lean hog market lower. Unable to band-wagon from the other market’s rally, the lean hog sector erodes to lower prices. December lean hogs are down $1.72 at $66.10 and all other markets both nearby and deferred have the Tuesday blues.

The projected lean hog index for 10/21/19 is $65.47 down five cents, and the actual for 10/18/19 is $65.53 down $0.11. Prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.20 with a weighted average of $56.91 ranging from $51.00 to $58.00 on 12,661 head sold and a five-day rolling average of $57.11.

Pork cutouts totaled 210.66 loads with 188.19 loads of pork cuts and 22.47 loads of trim. Pork cutout calves are down $1.80 at $76.73.

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