DTN Livestock Midday: Strong Morning for Lean Hogs

Photo: Soybean Checkoff

Thursday aligns to be another positive day for lean hog contracts and a lower day for cattle contracts.

General Comments

It’s been a tough week for cattle contracts yet an inspiring week for the lean hog market and if the lean hog sector can keep its momentum it’s looking the week could end that way too.

March corn is up 3 1/2 cents per bushel and March soybean meal is up $0.50. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 128.87 points and NASDAQ is down 8.39 points.

LIVE CATTLE

Live cattle contracts are having another dreary day realizing that with the cash cattle market’s trade pretty much set for the week (steady) that there’s not a lot of chance of future’s gaining position as the lean hog market is hitting the market with the aggression. Most of the business is anticipated to be done in the South, and the North is still parking in some trade at $199 dressed and $124 live — all steady with the last two weeks.

The interesting note about the trade in the North is that a lot of the cattle are selling with delayed delivery for the week of February 3, which makes one anxious about the cash cattle trade the next two weeks. February live cattle are down $0.75 at $125.42, April live cattle are down $1.20 at $125.57 and June live cattle are down $0.82 at $117.62.

Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice up $0.48 ($215.44) and select down $0.96 ($211.06) with a movement of 69 loads (41.18 loads of choice, 16.21 loads of select, 3.34 loads of trim and 8.64 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

Wednesday was tough on the feeder cattle market, as contracts lost significant position, and Thursday though less drastic is also trading lower. January feeders are down $0.15 at $143.77, March feeders are down $0.12 at $142.92 and April feeders are down $0.42 at $145.60.

As cash cattle trade lower, significant volumes of feeders sell at the sale barns and as the live cattle contracts dip lower — it makes it a tough road for feeder cattle contracts to try to rally.

LEAN HOGS

Higher future’s market, higher cash prices, aggressive slaughter and higher cutout values make for a very happy and healthy lean hog market. Nearby futures contracts are pushing harder Thursday morning for higher prices and interestingly cumulative interest is following right along. February lean hogs are up $1.12 at $68.67, April lean hogs are up $1.07 at $75.60 and May lean hogs are up $1.15 at $82.00.

The projected lean hog index for 1/21/2020 is up $0.84 at $61.02 and the actual for 1/20/2020 is up $0.04 at $60.18. Hog prices are higher on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.93 with a weighted average of $52.85, ranging from $48.00 to $54.50 on 6,296 head sold and a five-day rolling average of $51.92.

Pork cutouts total 123.61 loads with 108.71 loads of pork cuts and 14.90 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $0.72, $79.46.

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