DTN Livestock Midday: Moderate Early Strength

Photo: Blair Fannin, Texas AgriLife Extension

Cattle contracts started weak early Friday morning, but as the day progresses, interest builds while the cash market is still yet to really be established.

General Comments

Livestock contracts opened Friday morning to trade significantly lower in both the live cattle and feeder cattle contracts while the lean hog market too got to business and secured gains right out of the gate. Now as the noon hour approaches, contracts have warmed up and all three sectors are trading mostly higher.

March corn is down 1 1/2 cents per bushel and January soybean meal is down $2.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 331.62 points and NASDAQ is up 86.35 points.


This week’s cash cattle trade may end up like a long drawn-out movie. Patiently building the scene of packers needing cattle, feeders having the cattle and the never-ending battle of how much are they really worth keeping the two at ends of a long tug-a-war battle.

Early Friday morning the live cattle complex was bearish and not favorable to cattle feeders — though regardless of how the board trades packers need enough cattle that they will most likely end up paying higher prices regardless. But as time ticks on the board has picked up its tempo and is trading just slightly higher.

December live cattle are up $0.12 at $120.04, February live cattle are up $0.25 at $124.85 and April live cattle are up $0.05 at $125.22. One bid has surfaced in Nebraska at $118 — which is significantly lower than asking prices, $121 plus in the South and $190 to $193 in the North. Grab your soda pop and popcorn because trade will most likely break loose any time now and it will probably be for higher money.

Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $0.42 ($225.18) and select is up $0.17 ($208.29) with a movement of 77 loads (43.78 loads of choice, 14.51 loads of select, 5.07 loads of trim and 13.99 loads of ground beef).


Trading much higher than that initially marked Friday morning, feeder cattle contracts are looking for support and building as the day progress on. January feeders are up $0.67 at $141.17, March feeders are up $0.47 at $141.62 and April feeders are up $0.60 at $143.72.


The lean hog complex rebounded from Thursday’s weaker close and is trading mostly higher as the 12 o’clock strikes near. December lean hogs are down $0.02 at $61.55, February lean hogs are up $0.30 at $67.87 and April lean hogs are up $0.37 at $73.87. Given that cutout prices are still posting gains, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the closing hog report show higher and steady cash trade through Friday’s final sales.

The projected lean hog index for 12/5/19 is up $0.15 at $58.49, and the actual index for 12/4/19 came back at $58.34, up $0.14. Higher yet again are hog prices on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.06 with a weighted average of $46.73, ranging from $41.00 to $47.94 on 7,535 head sold and five-day rolling average of $45.44.

Pork cutouts totaled 198.79 loads with 183.47 loads of pork cuts and 15.32 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are up $1.06 at $82.42.

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