DTN Livestock Midday: Market Support Surfaces

©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

Traders are looking to the marketplace Tuesday and are seeking out buying opportunities after Monday’s prices plummeted.

General Comments

Shaking off the Monday blues, lean hog and feeder cattle contracts wasted no time Tuesday in looking to take back some of the position they lost in Monday’s downfall. The live cattle complex is the only livestock sector fighting the forward movement, even though trade earlier Tuesday morning tried to move higher.

March corn is up 4 1/4 cents per bushel, and March soybean meal is down $1.00. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 248.03 points, and the NASDAQ is up 135.56 points.

LIVE CATTLE

Live cattle contracts are the only livestock sector unwilling to re-evaluate Monday’s move and continue to trade mostly lower. Earlier Tuesday morning, the complex flirted with the idea of progressing prices higher but has since dropped back below Monday’s close in most contracts.

February live cattle are up $0.17 at $122.45, April live cattle are down $0.20 at $121.10 and June live cattle are down $0.10 at $112.90. The countryside continues to echo with crickets, as feeders are unsure where to price cattle this week and packers haven’t inquired on any pens yet.

On Friday, USDA will release its biannual cattle inventory report, which is expected to come out bullish in lower total cow-herd numbers. If this is the case, the report could be the bump that the live cattle market needs in order to shoot cash prices higher and out of the steady sideways trade.

Consigned to Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange, there are 477 head with two pens coming from Kansas and one pen from Texas. All cattle are offered with the one-to-nine-day delivery.

Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $0.15 ($213.74) and select up $2.59 ($213.09) with a movement of 61 loads (43.29 loads of choice, 7.14 loads of select, 0 loads of trim and 10.76 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

Feeder cattle contracts are up $0.27 to $0.62 throughout the complex as the feeder cattle market, like the other livestock contracts, is building some support into Tuesday’s noon hour. January feeders are up $0.37 at $142.27, March feeders are up $0.62 at $135.80 and April feeders are up $0.37 at $138.37. With the January contract expiring in two short days, more interest in buying into the March contract, helping boost prices in that month.

LEAN HOGS

The April 2020 contract is seeing growing support Tuesday morning as the board starts to make a comeback from Monday’s panic selling. February lean hogs are up $0.55 at $66.50, April lean hogs are up $1.25 at $71.70 and May lean hogs are up $0.85 at $77.82. Monday afternoon’s cash prices stepped higher, which could have helped insulate Tuesday’s ability to move the entire board higher.

The projected lean hog index for 1/28/2020 is up $0.10 at $61.74, and the actual for 1/24/2020 is up $0.11 at $61.64. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.27 with a weighted average of $53.62, ranging from $49.00 to $56.50 on 10,460 head sold and five-day rolling average of $52.70.

Pork cutouts total 259.05 loads with 237.18 loads of pork cuts and 21.86 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $0.12, $77.64.

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