DTN Livestock Midday: Moving Mostly Higher

©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

Live cattle contracts welcome Tuesday carefully while it appears that the rest of the complex is eager to trade modestly higher.

General Comments

Support seems to be building in the livestock arena as contracts look to trade higher as the noon hour approaches and anticipated higher cash cattle trade is expected. With Christmas only two weeks away, major business that needs to happen before the end of the year will need to take place this week and next.

March corn is down 1/4 cent per bushel and January soybean meal is down $0.10. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 21.66 points and NASDAQ is up 7.88 points.

LIVE CATTLE

The live cattle market is still getting its head wrapped around the buzz of last week’s slaughter and the last-minute cash cattle trade and is taking its sweet time trading Tuesday. December live cattle are down $0.02 at $120.15, February live cattle are up $0.07 at $124.82 and April live cattle are down $0.02 at $125.37.

Cash trade is expected to trade modestly higher again this week, though no asking prices or bids have been placed yet this week. Last week trade didn’t get underway until the Fed Cattle Exchange where the first of the week’s trade took place.

This week’s line up of 1,068 head (all with one-to-nine-day delivery) with four pens from Nebraska, two pens from Kansas and one pen from Texas, trade may wait to see how the public auction fairs before a tone is established.

Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $0.50 ($223.14) and select is down $1.21 ($205.28) with a movement of 86 loads (58.36 loads of choice, 13.53 loads of select, 5.55 loads of trim and 8.15 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

Trading higher with encouragement from Monday’s strong close, feeder cattle markets look higher surrounding the noon hour. January feeders are up $0.62 at $142.15, March feeders are up $0.62 at $142.90 and April feeders are up $0.57 at $144.72.

LEAN HOGS

The spot December lean hog contract trades most cautiously, while other lean hog contracts push prices well over $1.00 gains. December lean hogs are up steady at $60.00, February lean hogs are up $0.72 at $67.42 and April lean hogs are up $0.82 at $73.80. Given that cash prices are a tick stronger and that cutout values are much stronger – a positive undertone is building in the hog complex.

The projected lean hog index for 12/06/19 is down $0.37 at $58.12, and the actual index for 12/05/19 9s up $0.15 at $58.49. Hog prices are higher on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.35 with a weighted average of $47.41, ranging from $44.50 to $48.30 on 5,027 head sold and a five-day rolling average of $46.77.

Pork cutouts total 239.36 loads with 223.37 loads of pork cuts and 15.99 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are higher, up $2.75 at $84.73.

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