DTN Livestock Midday: Sharp Losses Continue

Sharp losses continue at midday Friday with active selling in all livestock futures. The inability to hold early gains in cattle contracts is evidence of the intensive bearish grip hanging onto the cattle market.

General Comments

Limited buyer support early Friday morning was unable to hold through the morning as general market weakness from earlier in the week returned, pushing prices to limit losses in select contract months.

May corn is down 4 1/4 cents per bushel and May soybean meal is down $5.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is lower 372 points and NASDAQ is down 125 points.


Sharp losses have slid into live cattle futures despite the early gains which seemed to give a glimmer of hope for renewed buyer support. April live cattle futures are limit lower with $4.50 per cwt losses, and prices are setting new contract lows with little hope of additional late-day support.

The uncertainty and concern that beef demand will continue to erode and the potential we will see further coronavirus outbreaks over the weekend is putting more pressure on prices.

Cash cattle markets remain quiet Friday morning with bids still undeveloped. At this point, the potential for cash markets to hold out until next week is becoming a strong possibility as neither side seems willing to step up to the table, with good reason. Asking prices seen earlier may or may not be on the table still, given the bearish undertone of the market.

Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $0.69 ($231.95) and select down $1.11 ($221.01) with a movement of 37 loads (18 loads of choice, 6 loads of select, no loads of trim and 13 loads of ground beef).


The inability to hold morning buyer support in feeder cattle futures has sparked growing uncertainty through the entire cattle complex. Nearby losses are from $4 to $4.50 per cwt, but with expanded trading limits, the potential for late-Friday losses is even greater given that trading limits are at $6.75 for the session.

This continues to add even more uncertainty to the entire market going into the weekend. The hope that end-of-week short-covering could bring some limited buying back to the market seems hard to fathom right now, with additional losses developing.


Sharp losses continue to develop across the lean hog complex with June and July futures holding limit losses of $4.50 per cwt at midday. The lack of support in the complex based on uncertainty of domestic and export demand in early April and is likely to add continued pressure through the rest of the session.

The projected lean hog index for 4/2/2020 is down $2.43 at $60.65 and the actual index for 4/1/2020 is down $1.38 at $63.08. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $1.75 with a weighted average of $42.83, ranging from $40.00 to $45.00 on 4,597 head sold and a five-day rolling average of $50.53.

Pork cutouts totaled 202.17 loads with 181.75 loads of pork cuts and 20.42 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $1.51, $60.72.

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