DTN Livestock Open: Questions of Market Direction Develop

Photo: Texas AgriLife Extension

Market uncertainty through the entire livestock complex is expected early Tuesday morning following active triple-digit losses in two of the three livestock complexes during early-week trade.

Cattle: Steady Futures: Mixed Live Equiv $141.24 +0.61*
Hogs: Steady Futures: Mixed Lean Equiv $ 79.19 +1.74**
* based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue
** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue


The limited cash cattle trade Monday afternoon in Iowa was expected to be more focused on clean-up trade opportunities from last week than developing a trend in the market for the current trading week. For the most part, asking prices and bids are still hard to come by, but asking prices should improve over the day Tuesday.

It may be midweek or later before packers show any significant interest, but the recent futures weakness and trend of steady-to-lower beef values last week may spark significant resistance to higher price levels by the end of the week. Futures trade is expected mixed.

Although a weaker market trend has developed as prices have quickly backed away from recent resistance levels and moved further from the tight trading range near contract highs, downside market movement is still expected to be somewhat limited by the tight supply situation, and continued strong beef demand is expected through early 2020.

Feeder cattle futures may remain the market to watch as potential early January pressure could quickly build through the upcoming weeks as prices back away from recent highs due to the long-term market direction being much less bullish than short-term price expectations. Tuesday slaughter runs are expected near 120,000 head.

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