The extreme market pressure this week is likely to continue Friday as technical and fundamental market direction remains under pressure at the end of the week. The potential for limited end-of-the-week short-covering could potentially bring some much needed relief.
Cattle: Lower Futures: Lower Live Equiv $151.99 -1.56*
Hogs: Lower Futures: Lower Lean Equiv $ 64.10 -2.84**
* based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue
** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue
Additional cash cattle trade is expected before the end of the week despite the significant pressure in futures and beef values this week. Following light trade Wednesday at significantly lower money than last week, both sides seem to have hit “pause” given the limit losses in futures trade Thursday.
But packers are expected to need additional cattle in the next couple of weeks, which may spark renewed bid activity during the day on Friday. Negotiated trade could be even lighter than in the last few weeks due to the availability of contracted cattle to packers after the first of the month.
The JBS plant in Pennsylvania has been shut down the last two weeks due to the coronavirus, and even though it is generally small in comparison to major packing plants, it is the largest plant in the Eastern U.S., which is creating a disruption of supplies for cattle producers within the region.
The concern that other plants within the system, especially in the Midwest, may need to close due to virus levels continues to be a major concern. Following limit losses in live and feeder cattle Thursday, expanded trading limits are in place once again. This could spark renewed bearish market factors as traders search for any sign of support.
With the weekend approaching, the hope that end-of-the-week short-covering will be able to take root and give a little relief to the sharp market losses that developed in early April. Friday slaughter is expected at 119,000 head.