DTN Livestock Midday: Cattle Contracts Mixed, Lean Hogs Lower

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Adam Russell

Midday comes with no surprises as cattle contracts trade sideways and lean hog contracts dip lower.

General Comments

Another day comes and goes as cattle contracts are dappled with some contracts being slightly higher, and some slightly lower. Lean hog contracts, on the other hand, point the ship South and away they go.

December corn is down 4 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is down $0.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 70.83 points and NASDAQ is down 12.37 points.


Live cattle contracts are rather timid this week following closely to what feeder cattle contracts do. As the noon hour approaches, live cattle contracts are mixed, higher in nearby months and lower in deferred. December live cattle are up $0.42 at $119.20, February live cattle are up $0.35 at $125.40 and April live cattle are up $0.07 at $126.25. Some trade is starting to trickle in from the countryside.

Cash cattle are selling in the South for $116, $1.00 higher than last week’s weighted average. Other parts of cattle country remain quite and firm with asking prices around $117 to $118 in South, and $188 in the North.

The Fed Cattle Exchange earlier this morning reported a total of 1,398 head total. One lot was reported for Texas $114.50 was offered and passed. There were four lots in Kansas, one lot went unsold, one lot sold at $115.75 and the other two lots sold for $116. Three lots in Nebraska, two lots sold at $115, and one lot sold at $115.50.

Boxed beef prices are up: choice up $0.61 ($239.62) and select up $0.73 ($216.20) with a movement of 79 loads (43.39 loads of choice, 11.29 loads of select, 14.70 loads of trim and 9.90 loads of ground beef).


Feeder cattle markets have ranged all sides of sideways trading sometimes higher, and at others lower. November feeder cattle are up $0.35 at $146.95, January feeders are up $0.12 at $144.15 and March feeders are down $0.27 at $144.20. Though the day bounces around and plays with the idea of higher and lower, a betting person would probably bet that the day closes nothing short of steady.


Lean hog contracts plunge lower and the day presses on, breaking through the support plane at $62.00. December lean hogs are trading $1.22 lower at $60.95, February lean hogs are trading $2.40 lower at $67.25 and April lean hogs are trading $2.07 lower at $73.67.

Breaking through the support plane of $62.00, asks 1) are markets now going to trade significantly lower even though an established bottom was thought to be found, or 2) is this a bottom before the markets begins to trend upward? In 2016 prices were in the low $40.00 range, and in 2018 prices dipped below $50.00.

The projected lean hog index for 11/19/18 is up $0.29 at $59.58, and the actual for 11/18/19 came in $0.05 higher at $59.29. Hog prices are up on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.30 with a weighted average of $42.63 ranging from $40.00 to $43.03 on 4,658 head sold and a five-day rolling average of $42.37.

Pork cutouts totaled 178.50 loads with 125.12 loads of pork cuts and 43.37 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are up $2.93 at $87.60.

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