DTN Livestock Midday: Contracts Feeling Pressured

Livestock contracts head lower as the market feels universal pressure, which is putting a damper on market’s short-term rally.

General Comments

All three livestock markets head lower Thursday morning as cash markets are unestablished this week and the board is feeling some pressure as the end of the week arrives.

March corn is down 1 1/4 cents per bushel and March soybean meal is up $0.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 272.25 points and NASDAQ is down 141.49 points.

LIVE CATTLE

Live cattle contracts came up against the $121.00 resistance plan and backed off sharply. February live cattle are down $0.77 at $120.52, April live cattle are down $1.20 at $119.60 and June live cattle are down $0.77 at $111.52. This comes at an bad time for feeders who are hoping the cash market will strengthen this week.

There was some trade Wednesday in the South that helped push prices $1.00 higher than last week’s weighted average, but since then trade has been sparse and the trade that has developed has been weaker.

Right now, trade is being reported in part of Nebraska at $119 to $120, steady to $1.00 higher than last week’s weighted average, and dressed cattle are being sold at $190, fully steady with last week’s trade. Other parts of the country remain firm in their $122 live and $195 plus for dressed cattle asking prices.

Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $0.79 ($204.78) and select down $0.42 ($201.34) with a movement of 104 loads (73.77 loads of choice, 10.61 loads of select, 5.52 loads of trim and 13.71 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

Feeder cattle contracts jumped on board and are trading lower along with the rest of the livestock complex, but are feeling more deferred pressure than nearby pressure, which is adverse from the live cattle market.

March feeders are down $0.22 at $140.55, April feeders are down $0.70 at $142.35 and May feeders are down $0.80 at $143.57. Feeder calf prices still surge with limited availability in the countryside which should help strengthen the board.

LEAN HOGS

The lean hog complex walks into the noon hour feeling some pressure which is sending contracts somewhat lower. April lean hogs are down $1.15 at $66.42, May lean hogs are down $0.65 at $74.65 and June lean hogs are down $1.47 at $81.70.

Seeing that cash prices are modestly lower Thursday morning as well, the market will have to work vigorously to push prices higher since both sides of the equation are weighing lower.

The projected lean hog index for 2/18/2020 is down $0.12 at $55.64, and the actual for 2/17/2020 is down $0.31 at $55.66. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.37 with a weighted average of $49.89, ranging from $45.00 to $52.00 on 4,175 head sold and five-day weighted average of $49.84.

Pork cutouts total 128.43 loads with 118.29 loads of pork cuts and 10.14 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $0.49, $64.50.

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