DTN Livestock Open: Traders Prepare for Long Holiday Weekend

©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

With futures markets closed Friday ahead of the Easter weekend, additional late-week market adjustments are likely as traders not only focus on recent gains, but the uncertainty in the economy and virus cases over the upcoming days.

Cattle: Steady to Lower Futures: Mixed Live Equiv $145.40 -3.60*
Hogs: Steady Futures: Mixed Lean Equiv $ 56.33 -3.32**
* 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 developed Wednesday, with prices generally steady with the limited Tuesday trade. It appears that without a major adjustment in futures trade over the next couple of days, the recent levels may set the tone for the week.

With futures trade closed Friday, both sides are likely to wrap up cash market deals Thursday so they aren’t uncovered, in the event that something major changes over the weekend to impact overall cash market or widespread economic levels.

Live cash cattle trade is 105 per cwt, generally $4 per cwt lower than last week, while steady with early-week activity. Dressed trade is $6 per cwt lower than last week at $168 per cwt.

Overall cattle numbers sold through the week may remain generally light as limited overall production is likely to be seen in the upcoming days and weeks.

Futures trade is expected to remain mixed Thursday. Although the strong upward surge this week is helping to spark underlying bullish expectations, the overshadowing uncertainty about beef demand through the next few weeks remains a major concern that could limit additional strong upward market shifts in the near future.

Additional end-of-week position squaring is likely on Thursday as the overall focus on covering positions ahead of the long weekend may have more emphasis at this time than traditionally seen during the Easter weekend.

Thursday slaughter is expected at 108,000 head.

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