DTN Livestock Midday: Complex Leans Lower

Photo: United Soybean Board

The livestock contracts struggle to trade higher Wednesday morning while both the lean hog and cattle cash markets show signs of positivity.

General Comments

The livestock complex still lags to find support to bolster prices higher, but with time cash prices may boost higher trade and a positive outlook.

March corn is down 3 3/4 cents per bushel and January soybean meal is up $2.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 172.58 points and NASDAQ is up 43.44 points.

LIVE CATTLE

Live cattle contracts struggle to any essence of support for the board early Wednesday morning. December live cattle are down $1.02 at $119.52, February live cattle are down $1.60 at $124.05 and April live cattle contracts are down $1.50 at $124.72.

The board quivers lower, but higher anticipated cash prices may be able to boost morale later in the week. It’s a positive sign for cattle sold Wednesday morning on the Fed Cattle Exchange. Of the 1,189 head consigned to the sale, 860 head sold for an average price of $118.36.

Cash prices last week ranged from $117 to $119 in the South, and upwards to $120 in the North; given that the FCE prices landed smack dap in the middle of last week’s prices, feeder’s may be able to push prices higher again later this week. Current asking prices are open at $122 live, and $193-plus for dressed cattle. As of now there is only one bid placed in Nebraska at $184 — $9.00 lower than current asking prices.

Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $2.57 ($227.58) and select is down $1.53 ($210.87) with a morning movement of 89 loads (54.52 loads of choice, 14.95 loads of select, 7.70 loads of trim and 11.39 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

Feeder cattle markets plug lower, being only 25 cents shy of $2.00 lower in some contracts. With a depressed board, and a surplus of calves in the sale barns, it makes it tough for prices to rally during the holiday season.

January feeders are down $1.72 at $140.65, March feeders are down $1.80 at $141.12 and April feeders are down $1.75 at $143.20. If cash cattle prices can rally the marketplace higher later this week, feeder contracts may reciprocate some of the energy.

LEAN HOGS

The board may have some indecisive contracts Wednesday morning that dipped just slightly lower, but the cash momentum keeps building in the countryside. December lean hogs are down $0.62 at $61.87, February lean hogs are down $0.30 at $68.05 and April lean hogs are up $0.05 at $74.32.

You can add another case of African swine fever to the list as the agriculture minister of Poland shared that authorities had earlier this year killed nearly 270,000 wild boar in eastern Poland in efforts to help stop the disease from spreading to domestic herds and it was largely effective until this last month when authorities stated that 20 more wild boar were killed with the disease.

The projected lean hog index for 12/03/19 is up $0.82 at $58.20, and the actual index for 12/02/19 is up $0.03 at $57.38. Hog prices are higher again on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.64 with a weighted average of $45.66, ranging from $41.00 to $46.50 on 4,010 head sold and a five-day rolling average of $43.94.

Pork cutouts total 171.85 loads with 148.83 loads of pork cuts and 23.01 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are up $0.74 at $81.35.

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