DTN Livestock Midday: Contracts Head into Noon Hour Strong

©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

Thursday is starting to shape up to a strong day for all livestock contracts as the entire sector heads for higher prices.

General Comments

Little by little more interest develops in the livestock sector as each market pulls more traders and more cumulative volume. Though the virus is still on the forefront of many people’s minds, the coronavirus’s scare on the market may be fading to the background.

March corn is down 2 cents per bushel and March soybean meal is up $1.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 42.80 points and NASDAQ is up 7.06 points.

LIVE CATTLE

Trade has been developing earlier in the week as feeders are seeming to wrap up most of this week’s business already, especially in the South. A light trade developed in the North at $190, which is $3.00 lower than last week’s weighted average.

Cattle that are still on showlists are priced at $121 live and $193 to $194 dressed. So far this week we haven’t heard of any cattle selling with time, which could be positive for cash prices later down the road. The board is still responding well to Wednesday’s spur of encouragement as prices slowly climb and the market seems to be doing so with ease and confidence at this point.

February live cattle are up $0.42 at $119.37, April live cattle are up $0.22 at $118.07 and June live cattle are up $0.40 at $110.32.

Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice up $0.01 ($206.32) and select down $1.64 ($203.66) with a movement of 68 loads (39.16 loads of choice, 10.15 loads of select, 12.12 loads of trim and 6.68 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

Feeder cattle contracts are posting a nice rally Thursday morning as the entire complex moves higher especially in nearby contracts. March feeders are up $0.60 at $135.65, April feeders are up $1.00 at $138.17 and May feeders are up $1.05 at $140.10.

Buying and selling feeders is a tough market right now as cattlemen aren’t extremely interested in buying more feeders to winter them through the cold months until grass next spring. But more and farmer feeders have been showing up to sales buying deals when they see them.

LEAN HOGS

The lean hog market is having a stronger day as contracts trade $0.17 to $0.60 higher and cash prices jumped over $1.00 Thursday morning. Wednesday’s afternoon weakness in the cash market is largely due to one plant being down, but now that plants are running cash prices have full opportunity to continue to gain steadily.

February lean hogs are up $0.30 at $55.97, April lean hogs are up $035 at $64.12 and May lean hogs are down $0.05 at $72.90.

The projected lean hog index for 2/12/2020 is down $0.62 at $56.70, and the actual index for 2/11/2020 is down $0.61 at $57.32. Hog prices are higher on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $1.08 with a weighted average of $49.48, ranging from $42.00 to $51.64 on 4,126 head sold and five-day rolling average of $49.93.

Pork cutouts total 155.49 loads with 126.00 loads of pork cuts and 29.49 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $0.73, $63.23.

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