DTN Livestock Midday: Cattle Trade Lower, Lean Hogs Look Higher

Photo: United Soybean Board

Trump’s positive remarks of a fruitful outcome about the phase one trade agreement has the lean hog complex ready to trade higher.

General Comments

Cattle contracts have stepped aside while the lean hog complex looks to take the show.

March corn is up 5 1/2 cents per bushel and January soybean meal is down $1.10. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 64.02 points and NASDAQ is up 4.91 points.

LIVE CATTLE

Wednesday’s excitement has dried up and moved over to the lean hog market with live cattle and feeder cattle contracts to trade lower. December live cattle are down $0.37 at $120.20, February feeder cattle are down $0.40 at $124.92 and April live cattle are up $0.12 at $126.00.

The cash market remains quiet as packers want to see if the board is going to dip any lower, which may pull the country’s psychology down as well. Meanwhile, feeders are holding their breath hoping that the board perks up by Friday. A few bids have popped up in Texas and Kansas at $118, lower than last week’s weighted average and lower than asking prices.

Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $2.05 ($216.61) and select down $0.48 ($203.24) with a movement of 114 loads (86.15 loads of choice, 13.47 loads of select, 0 loads of trim and 14.03 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

Feeder cattle contracts continue to trade sideways, then slightly up, then they dip lower. Realistically this may be the majority of the trade the next couple of weeks until 2020 offers new opportunity. January feeder cattle are down $0.67 at $142.10, March feeders are down $0.65 at $143.02 and April feeders are down $0.30 at $145.17. Trading slightly higher than the 100-day moving average ($141.40), but still traipsing lower than the 40-day moving average ($144.57).

LEAN HOGS

It appears the back and forth woes of hearing about the phase one trade agreement will never end. Though the lean hog market has heard about all it can take from the undecisive nature of the arrangement, President Trump tweeted Thursday morning, “Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it and so do we!”

Regardless if this is the final leg of the race before the finish line is reached or not, the lean hog complex took it for it was worth and ran with the excitement Thursday morning. December lean hogs are up $0.17 at $60.87, February lean hogs are up $1.17 at $68.90 and April lean hogs are up $0.52 at $74.77.

The projected lean hog index for 12/11/19 is up $0.26 at $59.72, and the actual lean hog index for 12/10/19 is up $0.99 at $59.46. Hog prices are higher on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.52 with a weighted average of $48.57, ranging from $42.00 to $49.75 on 5,836 hogs sold and a five-day rolling average of $47.43.

Pork cutouts total 145.36 loads with 123.83 loads of pork cuts and 21.53 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are down $1.53 at $81.66.

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