DTN Livestock Midday: Cattle Contracts Looking Higher

Cattle feeding. Photo: ©Debra L Ferguson

Cattle Contracts Optimistic While Lean Hogs Lose Momentum

Heading into the afternoon cattle contracts may be able to close higher as the complex is short of support.

General Comments

Heading into Friday’s noon hour, cattle contracts are trading sideways after the morning progressed the complex higher, but the lean hog complex is trading mostly lower as the support needed to rally the complex just isn’t surfacing. Cattle contracts seem to be firm in their position and could end up closing the day with the same strength that the complex offers at midday as the week’s stronger cash cattle prices seem to somewhat back the rally. December corn is down 8 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is down $3.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 166.78 points and NASDAQ is down 13.78 points.

LIVE CATTLE

Live cattle contracts are eyeing that $136 resistance level and though it’s unlikely to make a run for it Friday afternoon, the complex keeps scaling slightly higher as the day is progressing. August live cattle are up $1.25 at $135.80, September live cattle are up $1.07 at $137.27 and October live cattle are up $1.27 at $138.40. Some of the cash market’s strength seems to be stemming from fact that some (SOME) feedlots are starting to clean out their inventory and are showing more current numbers.

That isn’t to say that the entire industry is current but buying is becoming a little spotty as packers are having to work just a little harder to get cattle bought. Cash cattle trade is still mostly quiet though one major packer has renewed its bid of $155 in Nebraska.

Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice up $1.17 ($204.76) and select down $0.92 ($193.92) with a movement of 56 loads (22.08 loads of choice, 16.23 loads of select, 5.58 loads of trim and 11.82 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

Feeder cattle contracts are feeling the most ambitious heading into the last stretch of the week. August feeders are up $0.80 at $135.32, September feeders are up $0.62 at $136.80 and October feeders are up $0.90 at $138.02. Seeing the live cattle complex rallying, higher cash cattle prices, and continued aggression throughout the feeder cattle sales — the feeder cattle complex is quite optimistic as it closes out the week. The looming concern for cattlemen could be higher feeder costs as most of the country is already dry and forage could become quite costly this fall/winter.

LEAN HOGS

The lean hog complex has seemed to run out of support as the complex is left trading lower into the noon hour. August lean hogs are down $0.62 at $49.55, October lean hogs are down $1.00 at $49.55 and December lean hogs are down $0.80 at $51.77. The market has been posting enormous gains on the midday cutout value but hasn’t been able to carry the substantial price jump into the closing value.

The projected lean hog index for 7/8/2020 is down $0.17 at $45.18, and the actual index for 7/7/2020 is down $0.55 at $45.35. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.17 with a weighted average of $29.91, ranging from $26.00 to $32.00 on 6,175 head and a five-day rolling average of $29.21. Pork cutouts total 214.80 loads with 173.35 loads of pork cuts and 41.45 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $4.01, $71.13.

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