DTN Livestock Midday: Phase One Agreement Bolsters Contracts

Though the phase one trade agreement has not yet been signed, knowing that its completion is close spurs the livestock sector.

General Comments

Friday’s market has been completely consumed by the exciting news that the phase one agreement is nearing the final stretch. Though the details have not yet been finalized, it’s apparent that the agreement is coming together and that the U.S has agreed to not implement the Dec. 15 tariffs. An announcement of that kind would leave U.S. producers to believe that China has an agreement to buy more agriculture products. Nevertheless, markets are spiking higher and are anxious for the agreement to be signed.

March corn is steady and January soybean meal is up $1.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.43 points and NASDAQ is up 18.60 points.

LIVE CATTLE

Onward and forward, the live cattle market is ready and roaring for 2020. Bullish news encompasses the live cattle market Friday morning as cash cattle in the South have traded mostly steady, cattle in the North that have yet to trade are expected to be higher, boxed beef prices sold phenomenally and gained in value, all while securing lavish gains on the board. December live cattle are up $1.97 at $122.40, February live cattle are up $2.42 at $127.52 and April live cattle contracts are up $1.90 at $128.10.

Trade is starting to roll out throughout the countryside, as a large string of fats sold in Iowa for $120 with delivery for the week of 12/30/19. Light transactions took place in the North for steady money, $119 live and $118 dressed; Thursday a light trade took place in the South for $119.

Boxed beef values are higher: choice up $1.39 ($217.04) and select up $1.70 ($204.26) with a movement of 58 loads (25.40 loads of choice, 10.12 loads of select, no loads of trim and 22.22 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

At almost limit highs in the spot market, feeder cattle contracts aren’t getting left in the dust with this kind of market excitement. January feeders are up $3.80 at $146.35, March feeders are up $3.05 at $146.50 and April feeders are up $2.65 at $148.27. Seeing that the market is trading steadily higher in all three sectors and throughout all contracts in the feeder cattle market, a strong close isn’t out of sight.

LEAN HOGS

Finally, the export opportunity that the lean hog market has so patiently been waiting for. There’s no arguing that the agreement being on the brink of being signed is good news, but hog producers want to know how much pork China going to buy. In the producer’s eyes the bigger, the better, and the sooner they will start taking shipments, the better. It comes as no surprise that hog producers are waiting anxiously to find out the fine details of the arrangement.

The projected lean hog index for 12/12/19 is up $0.16 at $59.88, and the actual index for 12/11/19 came in at $59.72, up $0.26. Hog prices on the National Direct Morning Hog report are $0.37 higher with a weighted average of $48.18, ranging from $42.00 to $50.00 on 15,112 head sold and a five-day rolling average of $47.80.

Pork cutouts totaled 199.28 loads with 168.64 loads of pork cuts and 30.64 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are up $2.37 at $84.03.

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