DTN Livestock Midday: Still Rolling Higher

Photo: Texas AgriLife Extension

Livestock contracts are ambitious to trade higher yet again Wednesday and are so far successfully doing so.

General Comments

Live cattle contracts have dipped here and there throughout the morning, but the rest of the market seems pretty firm in the decision to trade higher.

March corn is down 2 3/4 cents per bushel and March soybean meal is up $0.50. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 162.09 points and NASDAQ is up 92.72 points.

LIVE CATTLE

Live cattle prices have tested both sides of steady Wednesday morning but as the noon hour approaches the market leans toward trading higher. Nearby contracts still more than deferred but are only slightly lower. February live cattle are down $0.12 at $121.30, April live cattle are down $0.07 at $120.52 and June live cattle are down $0.07 at $112.12.

Wednesday morning at the Fed Cattle Exchange there was 422 head of cattle consigned, consisting of three lots (one in Texas and two in Kansas). Asking prices ranged from $119 to $121. The one lot in Texas was bid at $119.75, but that offer was passed. The lots in Kansas did not sell.

The rest of cattle country remains quiet with bids still hard to come by. Asking prices of $122 have been set in the South, and dressed cattle are priced in the North for $195 to $197. It isn’t likely that trade really develops until later in the week.

Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $0.14 ($205.99) and select is down $0.50 ($203.23) with a movement of 100 loads (59.53 loads of choice, 13.38 loads of select, 2.77 loads of trim and 23.83 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

Feeder cattle prices tested the waters Wednesday morning and were lower for a short time but have since circled back to trading higher.

March feeders are up $1.22 at $140.50, April feeders are up $0.80 at $142.57 and May feeders are up $0.42 at $144.20. The market continues to put a bottom in the latest downfall’s trend and slow but surely prices are making their way higher.

LEAN HOGS

Cash hog prices were softer Wednesday morning but that could be due to the fact that packers are starting to back off on their aggressive kill schedule.

Cattle contracts bobbled a little Wednesday morning, but the lean hog market has kept prices driving higher and most contracts are exceeding gains of over $1.00. April lean hogs are up $1.42 at $66.92, May lean hogs are up $1.72 at $75.27 and June lean hogs are up $1.60 at $82.97.

The weaker cash prices most likely won’t affect the board’s vigor as trade is reluctantly trading higher and interest continues to grow.

The projected lean hog index for 2/18/2020 is down $0.12 at $55.54, and the actual index for 2/17/2020 is down $0.31 at $55.66. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.83 with a weighted average of $48.79, ranging from $45.00 to $50.34 on 4,500 head sold and five-day rolling average of $49.75.

Pork cutouts total 176.56 loads with 143.62 loads of pork cuts and 32.93 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $1.73, $63.28.

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