DTN Livestock Midday: Prices Slip Lower in Lethargic Trade

Tuesday’s livestock complex isn’t much to watch as prices continue to etch lower and lower.

General Comments

Tuesday morning hasn’t brought rainbows and sunshine to any of the livestock sector. Instead it feels like a painful morning of first waking up to watch an ugly muck brown paint dry, to then watch it crumble and fall off the wall as it nears being completely dry.

Tuesday’s market is painful in the same essence because the market’s correction isn’t just sharply down, or somberly steady; but instead it has decided to ever so slightly chip away little by little, making the day somewhat lethargic and depressing.

December corn is up 3 3/4 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is up $1.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 77.85 points and NASDAQ is up 29.00 points.


Live cattle contracts are mostly lower with far-out deferred contracts showing a little support. December live cattle are down $0.05 at $118.65, February live cattle are down $0.22 at $124.87 and April live cattle are down $0.42 at $125.97.

Cash cattle trade has yet to pick up steam with feeders worried about what bids are going to come in and keeping asking prices modest at $117 to $118 in the South, and $185 to $188 in the North.

For Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange there are 1,398 head of cattle consigned to the sale — four pens from Kansas, three pens from Nebraska and one pen from Texas.

Midday morning boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $0.83 ($239.95) and select up $0.11 ($215.70) with a movement of 47 loads (32.47 loads of choice, 8.50 loads of select, 4.07 loads of trim and 2.32 loads of ground beef).


A few ticks of optimism start to traipse through the feeder cattle market. November feeders are up $0.20 at $146.57, January feeder are down $0.42 at $144.05 and March feeders are down $0.37 at $144.35. Contracts further out, May 2020 and August 2020, are trading steady to $0.30 higher. Tuesday will most likely close near opening marks and continue to build on the pattern of sideways trade.


Unlike the last couple of weeks, Tuesday hasn’t paid the lean hog contracts any favors. The simple matter is that not much support can be found in any of the livestock complex, let alone the lean hog sector. But after doing some looking and comparing this year’s prices to years past, the market isn’t too out of whack with historical trends.

Last year at this time the board closed at $61.02 and 2017 market prices at this time were $62.02 — the board currently is trading at $62.25, above both 2017 and 2018 marks. Hog producers are well aware of this year’s turmoil and heartache, but in 2018 the market rallied from seasonal low in February through April, and in 2017 the market rallied from April until the middle of June.

Given that there are only a few weeks left of 2019, the hopefulness of 2020 and the spring rallies in the hog market should help producers keep their hopefulness.

The projected lean hog index for 11/18/19 is up $0.05 at $59.29, and the actual index for 11/15/19 came in at $59.24, down $0.27. Hog prices on the National Direct Morning Hog Report are up $0.09 with a weighted average of $42.23, ranging from $40.00 to $43.03 on 7,430 head sold and a five-day rolling average of $42.38.

Pork cutouts totaled 205.23 loads with 192.64 loads of pork cuts and 12.59 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are up $0.85 at $89.99.

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