DTN Livestock Midday: General Early Weakness

©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

Cattle contracts get laid away Wednesday morning while lean hog contracts nearly skate by with only minimal losses.

General Comments

Feeder cattle markets sink lower and lower while the live cattle market toys with the idea of how low its market should trade. Cash cattle markets have traded early Wednesday morning for $1.00 higher, which is helping keep some optimism in the live cattle future’s contracts.

December corn is down 1 3/4 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is up $2.00. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 49.48 points and NASDAQ is up 6.79 points.


The live cattle market isn’t bleeding as much as the feeder cattle market though it’s still lower than cash cattle enthusiasts would like to see. December live cattle are down $2.00 at $117.75, February live cattle are down $2.12 at $123.45 and April live cattle are down $2.00 at $125.05. With plenty of time left in the day, the market could ease up in the afternoon and close some higher than today’s low.

The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction reported a total of 1,393 head today (one lot in Texas, two lots in Kanas, and four lots in Nebraska) asking prices ranged from $114 to $117. One lot in Texas was offered $115, but that offer was passed. One lot in Kansas was offered $115.50 but that offer was also passed. Not long after the Fed Cattle Exchange closed bidding there was some light trade reported in parts of Texas at $115, which is steady to $1.00 higher than last week’s trade.

Other feeders continue to hold out to $117 to $118 in the South, and $185 to $188 in the North. Wednesday’s future market tizzy could push some feeders to panic and liquidate sooner than planned, but then again with fat cattle supplies, current feeders may be able to walk through the merely unharmed and still trade cattle for steady to higher prices. As the day plays out, time will tell.

Midday boxed beef cutouts are higher: choice up $1.75 ($242.25) and select is up $1.26 ($217.49) with a movement of 74 loads (34.59 loads of choice, 13.75 loads of select, 15.96 loads of trim and 9.36 loads of ground beef).


Lower and lower and lower falls the feeder cattle market in both nearby and deferred contracts. There’s nothing about Wednesday’s trade that is subtle, but rather instead a cold hard crash lower. November feeder cattle are down $2.57 at $145.22, January feeder cattle are down $4.42 at $142.70 and March feeders are down $4.02 at $142.72. As the clock strikes the noon hour, things aren’t looking hopeful but with the entire rest of the afternoon left to sort out trade, there may still be potential for the market to close somewhat higher.


Seeming to inch through the day with minimal losses compared to the other livestock contracts, the lean hog complex trades lower but not near as much lower and the cattle contracts. December lean hogs are down $1.00 at $63.72, February lean hogs are down $1.12 at $74.40 and April lean hogs are down $0.37 at $81.70.

The projected lean hog index for 11/11/19 is down $0.50 at $58.94, and the actual lean hog index for 11/08/19 came in at $59.44 was down $0.85. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.02 with a weighted average of $42.71, ranging from $41.50 to $43.09 on 4,415 hogs sold and a five-day rolling average of $43.30.

Pork cutouts totaled 156.65 loads with 130.70 loads of pork cuts and 25.95 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are down $1.32 at $87.21.

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