DTN Livestock Midday: Strong Early Trade

All three livestock contracts are trading higher while approaching the noon hour.

General Comments

Most people start to check out of work week early and start daydreaming of weekend plans come Thursday and Friday. But livestock contracts usually end up being like a good action movie. Whether the market decided to be higher or lower, it spends the first part of the week just merely laying the foundation for Thursday and Friday, similar to how the first part of action movie is leading up to the last 30 minutes of the show. This week is seeming to be no different — all livestock contracts are starting to warm up and are trading higher in all three sectors.

December corn is down 2 3/4 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is up $4.90. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 237.64 points and NASDAQ is up 62.81 points.


Live cattle contracts are cautiously moving higher. December live cattle are up $0.22 at $119.22, February live cattle are up $0.15 at $124.85 and April live cattle are up $0.30 at $125.85. Some cash cattle trades are happening in eastern Nebraska at $181 to $182, all with delayed delivery for the weeks of 11/18/19 and 11/25/19. Most feeders continue to hold out for higher money — asking prices are anywhere from $116 to $118 in the South, and $185 to $188 in the North. Friday will be interesting to watch to see how many cattle trade, and to see how much higher cash prices are.

Midday boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $0.51 ($237.65) and select up $1.45 ($212.98) with a movement of 61 loads (24.30 loads of choice, 23.03 loads of select, 8.14 loads of trim and 5.83 loads of ground beef).


Feeder cattle contacts rally Thursday morning with the most gains seen in the early 2020 contracts. Spot November market is trading $0.15 higher at $146.95, January feeder cattle are trading $1.42 higher at $145.85 and March feeders are trading $1.57 higher at $145.55. Given that live cattle prices are trending higher and cash cattle prices are expected to be higher. Feeder cattle contracts could end the week on a positive note.


The spot lean hog market is trading lower but despite its lower gesture, the rest of the lean hog market place is rallying. A lot of pressure could be put on the December contract with the U.S. and China now thinking that the Phase One agreement won’t be agreed upon until sometime in December. In the meantime, both countries have noted that if they can come to an agreement on the Phase One trade deal, both countries will remove additional tariffs in phases, simultaneously.

There have been a lot of ifs and more back-and-forth, flippant attitude surrounding the whole trade agreement than anyone likes to admit, and at this point the market is unenthused about any chatter surrounding the matter and just wants to see a signed agreement.

December lean hogs are trading $0.60 lower at $64.17, February lean hogs are trading $0.82 higher at $73.60 and April hogs are trading $0.32 higher at $79.70. Given Wednesday’s light trade volume, and Thursday’s inability to share hog prices because of confidentiality could be because packers have their needs meet for the week and don’t need to exhaust resources to buy for the fun of it.

The projected lean hog index for 11/06/19 is up $0.04 at $60.19, and the actual for 11/05/19 came in at $60.16, down $0.20. Prices are unavailable due to confidentiality on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, but the five-day rolling average is listed at $46.98.

Pork cutouts totaled 143.62 loads with 130.72 loads of pork cuts and 12.90 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are down $0.78 at $80.16.

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