DTN Livestock Midday: Contracts Dabble Lower

Following Wednesday’s weaker close, livestock contracts head lower in Thursday’s trade as well.

General Comments

The livestock complex heads into the noon hour trading completely lower where cattle contracts are down $2.00 to $3.00, and the lean hog complex trades comfortably around $2.00 lower.

One the troubles the market is facing is finding and keeping long-term support. Traders aren’t comfortable with the market just yet and have gotten accustomed to stepping out when pressured to commit to long-term commitments.

May corn is down 3 1/4 cents per bushel and May soybean meal is up $0.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 1,047.57 points and NASDAQ is up 272.12 points.

LIVE CATTLE

Livestock contracts bear lower heading into the noon hour with support being a hard factor to find amongst traders. April live cattle are down $2.62 at $105.85, June live cattle are down $2.47 at $93.85 and August live cattle are down $2.32 at $94.85.

On the bright side the attitude of this week’s cash trade was set when the board was higher which helped bolster prices. The country is quiet at midday following Wednesday’s moderate to active business in most areas, live trade was at $119 to $120, about $10 higher than last week’s weighted average basis the South.

Dressed deals were at mostly $190 with a few up to $190.50, roughly $17 higher basis Nebraska. Asking prices today are around $122 to $125 on a live basis, and $190 to $192 dressed.

Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $1.86 ($253.44) and select down $0.65 ($242.44) with a movement of 73 loads (24.57 loads of choice, 34.35 loads of select, zero loads of trim and 14.02 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

Feeder cattle contacts dip lower following Wednesday’s softer close. April feeders are down $2.32 at $126.35, May feeders are down $3.05 at $126.05 and August feeders are down $3.17 at $131.92.

Even though the board heads lower into the Thursday afternoon, with the weather being exceptional and green grass being right around the corner, interest at sale barns is expected to only grow as we head further and further into spring.

LEAN HOGS

Lean hog contracts trade $1.00 to $2.75 lower into Thursday’s noon hour. April lean hogs are down $2.10 at $63.75, June lean hogs are down $2.67 lower at $69.07 and July lean hogs are down $2.52 at $71.07. As the day progresses there are a couple of things that hog enthusiasts are watching closely.

First is Thursday afternoon’s hog and pig report which is anticipated to be 3.5% over year-ago levels. Whenever levels are larger; and upwards of 3%, and abundance of supply becomes a concern. But one thing that remains positive is pork sales.

Pork net sales of 38,600 were reported for 2020 which was up 8% from the previous week and up 89% from the prior four-week average. The three largest increases were from Mexico (11,100 mt) China (9,500 mt) and Japan (9,400 mt).

The projected lean hog index for 3/24/2020 is up $1.14 at $65.12, and the actual index for 3/23/2020 is up $0.80 at $63.98. Hog prices are higher on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.16 with a weighted average of $59.17, ranging from $55.00 to $62.50 on 9,728 head sold and a five-day rolling average of $57.95.

Pork cutouts total 196.22 loads with 171.01 loads of pork cuts and 25.20 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $0.31, $78.72.

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