DTN Livestock Midday: Contracts Head Lower

The lean hog complex may have had a phenomenal movement earlier in the week but now as the week nears the week’s end, all three sectors are trading lower.

General Comments

Friday usually adds a little positivity to the complex before the week ends but as noon hour approaches all three sectors are trading lower. There seems to be a little interest building in nearby live cattle contracts but not enough that will probably amount to anything before the day closes.

March corn is down 4 1/2 cents per bushel and March soybean meal is down $0.40. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 161.75 points and NASDAQ is down 68.95 points.

LIVE CATTLE

It’s a quiet and an unusual Friday for the live cattle contracts as cash cattle traded early and the country is through selling for the most part. Seeing that cash cattle trade is already established there’s little hope that the interest developing in the spot live cattle contract will amount to much of anything. February live cattle are up $0.15 at $124.82, April live cattle contracts are down $0.05 at $124.12 and June live cattle are down $0.40 at $115.92.

Boxed beef cutouts are lower: choice down $0.54 ($214.78) and select down $0.76 ($210.44) with a movement of 56 loads (38.97 loads of choice, 6.53 loads of select, 5.57 loads of trim and 4.79 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

As calves continue to trot across the scales at sale barns, the sheer volume of calves selling is pressuring parts of the market and making it hard for the board to find any support while the live cattle contracts have been down all week as well. January feeders are down $0.52 at $142.25, March feeders are down $0.72 at $139.80 and April feeders are down $0.85 at $142.62.

LEAN HOGS

The lean hog rally may be diving lower on the board, but I think it’s important to note that cash prices didn’t weaken Friday morning, indicating that packers are still aggressively on the hunt for more hogs and willing to pay even higher prices. February lean hogs are down $1.47 at $67.02, April lean hogs are down $2.17 at $73.17 and May lean hogs are down $2.57 at $79.20.

The projected lean hog index for 1/23/2020 is up $0.24 at $61.53, and the actual for 1/22/2020 came up $0.27 at $61.29. Hog prices on the National Direct Morning Hog Report are higher, up $0.62 with a weighted average of $52.76, ranging from $47.00 to $55.00 on 6,308 head sold and a five-day rolling average of $52.14.

Pork cutouts total 119.17 loads with 104.96 loads of pork cuts and 14.21 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $1.24, $77.60.

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