DTN Livestock Midday: Live Cattle Lag Behind

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Adam Russell

Feeder cattle contracts and lean hog contracts look for higher prices while the live cattle contracts cautiously holds back.

General Comments

Tuesday’s complex opened relatively quiet until the feeder cattle contract turned to higher prices and took the lean hog complex’s lead, while live cattle contracts aren’t willing to consider higher prices yet.

March corn is up 1/2 cent per bushel and January soybean meal is up $0.90. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 396.88 points and NASDAQ is down 95.72 points.

LIVE CATTLE

Live cattle contracts remain the last to jump on the band wagon and welcome higher prices this week. Seeming to be somewhat fatigued from last week’s run and lacking much-needed cumulative trade volume to support the market’s move higher — the live cattle contracts simply take the noon hour trading mostly steady.

December live cattle are down $0.22 at $120.52, February live cattle are down $0.40 at $125.40 and April live cattle are down $0.22 at $125.97. For Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange there are 1,189 head of cattle consigned to the sale – three pens from Nebraska, two pens from Kansas and one pen from Texas, all are for one-to-nine-day delivery.

Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $1.33 ($231.28) and select up $0.92 ($213.90) with a movement of 52 loads (30.17 loads of choice, 10.26 loads of select, 4.99 loads of trim and 6.61 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

Feeder cattle markets dabbled with the idea of trading lower again Tuesday morning but soon after opening bell the market shifted and started trading higher. January feeders are up $0.67 at $142.82, March feeders are up $0.22 at $143.25 and April feeders are up $0.35 at $145.32.

The feeder cattle market was trading steadily above both the 40-day moving average and the 100-day moving average until 11/22/19 when the market sank lower. Now the market is trading steadily with the 100-day moving average of $141.36, and below the 40-day moving average of $145.08.

LEAN HOGS

Steady, sideways trade is just what the lean hog market needed last week in order to boost spirits this week and trade moderately higher. Allowing for a consistent, involatile trend to develop has allowed for cash hog markets to capitalize on nearby profits. December lean hogs are up $1.07 at $61.42, February lean hogs are up $1.55 at $67.70 and April lean hogs are trading $1.17 higher at $73.77.

The projected lean hog index for 12/02/19 is up $0.03 at $57.38, and the actual index for 11/29/19 came in at $57.35, down $1.00. Hog prices on the National Direct Morning Hog Report are $0.30 higher with a weighted average of $43.84, ranging from $40.00 to $44.56 on 6,085 head sold and five-day rolling average of $43.43.

Pork cutouts totaled 186.27 loads with 173.07 loads of pork cuts and 13.20 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are down $1.38 at $81.48.

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