DTN Livestock Midday: Market Support Dissipates

©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

Livestock contracts start to brace for the long weekend and skip out on trading in a higher manner on Thursday.

General Comments

Livestock contracts were able to rally for three days in a row but now that Thursday has arrived the support the complex garnered earlier this week has dissipated.

May corn is up 2 cents per bushel and May soybean meal is up $0.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 502.80 points and NASDAQ is up 86.92 points.


Live cattle contracts are trading lower with the rest of the livestock complex and a depressed attitude hasn’t helped the cash cattle trade. April live cattle are up $0.80 at $93.62, June live cattle are down $2.07 at $84.60 and August live cattle are down $1.65 at $90.55.

Cash cattle trade has been mostly quiet with no bids being renewed at this point. Asking prices are around $110 on live cattle and $175 for dressed.

Of the cattle that have traded this week — substantially lower has been the tone as live cattle trade for $105, $4.00 lower than last week’s average, and dressed cattle have traded at $168, $6.00 lower than last week’s weighted average.

Boxed beef prices are lower: choice is 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 contracts have teetered back and forth; one minute they are higher, the next they are lower. It’s apparent that the complex has more support in its backing than the other contracts but as pressure grows from the other markets, the feeder cattle market has fallen mostly lower.

April feeders are down $1.07 at $118.80, May feeders are down $1.22 at $118.15 and August feeders are up $0.05 at $127.60.


The coronavirus headache continues as the Smithfield pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, announced it will close temporarily for cleaning after there have been 80 confirmed cases with plant employees. The plant intends to close some of its production Saturday, and then be completely shut down both Sunday and Monday so that the premises can be cleaned and sanitized.

The Department of Agriculture said that there has been no evidence that the coronavirus is being transmitted through food or its packaging — thankfully!

It’s been a softer day in the lean hog complex as the board has subsided to lower prices and the cash market is both lower and trading on fewer head. April lean hogs are down $0.62 at $42.50, June lean hogs are down $2.07 at $49.37 and July lean hogs are down $1.50 at $55.35.

The projected lean hog index for 4/8/2020 is down $1.86 at $51.11 and the actual index is down $2.55 at $52.97. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.37 with a weighted average of $39.97, ranging from $39.50 to $41.00 on 2,559 head sold and five-day rolling average of $41.38.

Pork cutouts totaled 191.64 loads with 155.93 loads of pork cuts and 35.71 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $0.91, $52.32.

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