DTN Livestock Midday: Cattle Higher, Hogs Tip Lower

©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

Cattle contracts are jumping into the noon hour higher while the lean hog market subsides to lower prices.

General Comments

The cattle market is still taking the midweek point with stride as both live cattle and feeder cattle contracts trade higher and more than half of the offering on the FCE went unsold — a positive sign for cash cattle prices this week.

The lean hog market, on the other hand, weakened as Wednesday arrived and both the board and the cash market have traded lower since.

May corn is down 2 cents per bushel and May soybean meal is down $0.90. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 586.14 points and NASDAQ is up 155.27 points.

LIVE CATTLE

Thankfully, the spark of enthusiasm has captured the midweek point in the cattle market and live cattle contracts are etching higher. April live cattle up $4.50 at $92.82, June live cattle contracts up $2.62 at $87.42 and August live cattle up $2.47 at $91.80.

The big question this week is, and still remains, how will the board trade through the latter part of the week and how will cash prices be affected? At this point it was positive to see fewer rather than more cattle sell on the Fed Cattle Exchange from a cash perspective.

After the FCE there has been another round of cattle lightly trade at Tuesday price of $105 — solidly $4.00 lower than last week’s average.

The FCE Auction listed a total of 7,561 head, with 1,443 actually selling, 5,891 head listed as unsold, and 227 head listed as PO (Passed Offer).

The state by state breakdown looks like this: Kansas 2,152 total head, with 746 head sold at $105.00, 1,179 head unsold, 227 head listed as PO ($95.00-$100.00); Nebraska 2,578 total head, with no sales reported; Texas 1,163 total head, with 247 head sold at $105.00, 916 head unsold; Colorado 120 total head, no sales reported; Iowa 1,027 total head, with 350 head sold at $105.00, 677 head unsold; Oklahoma 521 total head, with 100 head sold at $105.00, 421 head were unsold.

The delivery date/weighted averages breakdown is as listed: 1-9 day delivery: 2,597 head total, 746 head sold, with a weighted average price of $105.00; 1-17 day delivery 4,964 head total, 697 head sold, with a weighted average price of $105.00. Asking prices ranged from $95.00-$110.00.

Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $3.41 ($224.47) and select down $3.64 ($214.11) with a movement of 75 loads (44.98 loads of choice, 9.00 loads of select, 7.58 loads of trim and 13.53 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

Feeder cattle contracts continue to dig their way out of the recent lower in the market as Wednesday’s trade serves as the third consecutive day of higher money. April feeders are up $4.75 at $119.67, May feeders are up $4.70 at $118.50 and August feeders are up $5.32 at $126.32.

The recent strength developed on the board is helping the overall moral of the market place but the problem of finding somewhere on the board to hedge feeders still remains to be an issue for buyers.

LEAN HOGS

While the cattle contracts have thrived through Wednesday, the lean hog market has regressed. April lean hogs are down $2.25 at $41.87, June lean hogs are down $1.72 at $50.92 and July lean hogs are down $1.37 at $56.40. Not only has the board weakened but also the cash market, as packers only buy a mere 2,000 head and cutout prices fall a sharp $4.46.

The projected two-day lean hog index for 4/7/2020 is down $2.55 at $52.97 and the actual index for 4/6/2020 is down $2.13 at $55.52. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.22 with a weighted average of $40.40, ranging from $40.00 to $40.046 on 2,030 head sold and five-day rolling average of $43.19.

Pork cutouts totaled 235.34 loads with 215.33 loads of pork cuts and 20.02 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $4.46, $50.27.

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