DTN Livestock Midday: Keeping the Ball Rolling

©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

Livestock contracts open the week with a strong push to keep the market trading higher.

General Comments

Maybe the secret this week was having Monday off? Regardless of what the trick was, livestock contracts have been able to keep the market trading higher and cash markets are expected to perform well this week too.

March corn is up 3 1/2 cents per bushel and March soybean meal is up $1.40. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 246.27 points and NASDAQ is down 41.31 points.

LIVE CATTLE

Live cattle contracts keep Friday’s positive close in mind as most of the complex moves higher as the noon hour approaches. February live cattle are up $0.45 at $121.27, April live cattle are up $0.15 at $120.47 and June live cattle are up $0.20 at $112.10.

It’s seeming that the week may be back to a more usual trade pattern with live cattle trading in the later part of the week. The countryside is quiet at midday with not yet fully established though there are a few scatted asking prices in Texas at $122.

Seeing that cutout values are expected to rise from here on out and that packers are short bought on cattle, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the market’s positivity trickle into the cash market later this week as well.

Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $0.86 ($206.40) and select down $1.60 ($204.58) with a movement of 72 loads (37.11 loads of choice, 11.14 loads of select, 6.56 loads of trim and 16.89 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

Feeder cattle prices saw a slight increase throughout sales barns last week as availability for certain weight groups is becoming harder and harder to come by.

Weather will be a big factor moving forward on how sale barn prices perform because whenever cattle are dirty from wet conditions, prices see a small dip and obviously the ease of getting cattle to the ring depends on road conditions.

The feeder cattle future’s market is still pressing forward for gains as the noon hour approaches. March feeders are up $0.65 at $139.17, April feeders are up $0.37 at $141.75 and May feeders are up $0.35 at $143.55.

LEAN HOGS

It’s been a powerful Tuesday morning for the lean hog market as advancements are seen across the board, rallying support from both traders and packers. April lean hogs are up $1.25 at $65.52, May lean hogs are up $0.70 at $73.70 and June lean hogs are up $0.22 at $81.12.

Last week packers pushed aggressively to process hogs but are expected to start backing off on their rigorous kill schedules and producers will have to be cautious of hog weights when moving forward.

The projected lean hog index for 2/17/2020 is down $0.31 at $55.66, and the actual index for 2/14/2020 is down $0.41 at $55.97. Hog prices are higher on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $2.46 with a weighted average of $50.46, ranging from $45.00 to $53.00 on 5,063 head sold and five-day rolling average of $49.51.

Pork cutout total 214.34 loads with 191.38 loads of pork cuts and 22.97 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $2.13, $64.99.

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