DTN Livestock Midday: Some Contracts Cautiously Higher

©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

Traders seem to be testing the waters as some livestock contracts cautiously trade higher.

General Comments

Seeing that some livestock contracts are still trading slightly higher into the noon hour solidifies the fact that Monday’s move was overdone. The coronavirus needs to be carefully monitored but as humans we often tend to react before we know the facts which comes at the market’s expense.

March corn is steady and May soybean meal is steady. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 386.72 points and NASDAQ is down 104.28 points.

LIVE CATTLE

Live cattle contracts trade lower in nearby contracts and higher in deferred as the noon hour approaches. April live cattle are down $1.27 at $115.72, April live cattle are down $1.12 at $114.12 and June live cattle are down $0.67 at $106.70.

The support for the live cattle market was weak before the Monday’s run lower and it’s apparent that the market is having a harder time regaining support and confidence from traders as the market cautiously picks few contracts to trade higher while the feeder cattle contracts and lean hog contracts are more bold in their moves.

Cash cattle trade has yet to really transpire as there are just a few scattered bids on the table in parts of Nebraska while the rest of country is quiet. A few asking prices are being reported in the North at $190 plus.

There are 755 head of fats consigned to Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchanged with four lots from Kansas (two with one-to-nine-day delivery, and the other two with one-to-seventeen day delivery) and the fifth lot from Texas with one-to-nine day delivery.

Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice up $0.20 ($207.27) and select down $0.52 ($201.85) with a movement of 68 loads (33.52 loads of choice, 14.77 loads of select, zero loads of trim and 19.62 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

Feeder cattle contracts are evenly split going into the noon hour with traders mildly interested. March feeders are up $0.47 at $136.50, April feeders are down $0.65 at $136.90 and May feeders are down $0.35 at $138.00. Though the market is trading higher in some instances, there’s still an underlying tone of uncertainty and skittishness.

LEAN HOGS

The lean hog market is having the best come back as most of the complex trades higher and is being encouraged by a stronger cash market. April lean hogs are up $0.70 at $65.32, June lean hogs are $0.07 at $80.02 and July lean hogs are down $0.07 at $81.20. Out of the livestock markets, the lean hog market sits most confidently as time rolls into the noon hour.

The two-day lean hog index for 2/21/2020 is up $0.04 at $55.91, and the actual index for 2/20/2020 is up $0.09 at $55.87. Hog prices are higher on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.92 with a weighted average of $49.63, ranging from $45.00 to $51.00 on 4,436 head sold and five-day rolling average of $49.77.

Pork cutouts total 250.74 loads with 235.87 loads of pork cuts and 14.86 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $0.44, $65.88.

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