DTN Livestock Midday: Cattle Contracts Move Higher

Photo: Texas AgriLife Extension

Cattle Contracts Move Higher

Thankfully the live cattle complex led the path to higher prices Monday morning which helped encourage the feeder cattle complex to not fall below Friday’s big jump.

General Comments

Though feeder cattle contracts flirted with some pressure at midmorning, the complex is now trading higher in nearby contracts and lower in deferred. Thankfully the feeder complex was able to ride on the shirttails of the live cattle complex which has traded steadily higher throughout all of Monday’s early trade. December corn is down 1/4 cent per bushel and December soybean meal is steady. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 241.65 points and NASDAQ is up 157.13 points.


The live cattle contracts traded steadily higher Monday morning, encouraging the feeder cattle complex to do the same and saved feeder contracts from dipping into Friday’s price range. August live cattle are up $0.07 at $102.90, October live cattle are up $0.15 at $108.02 and December live cattle are up $0.15 at $111.70. It will be interesting to see where cash cattle prices land this week as showlists are mixed, but consensus is growing that the backlog of cattle is growing smaller and smaller. That’s not to say that there aren’t still 1,400- to 1,500-pound fat cattle throughout the countryside that need processed, but lighter cattle are hitting the knife now too.

New showlists appear to be mixed, somewhat higher in Nebraska/Colorado, lower in Texas, and sharply lower in Kansas. Establishing the week’s asking prices will be the first matter of business, and feeders could show some sign of where asking prices will be something Monday afternoon or early Tuesday.

Last week’s negotiated cash cattle sales totaled 119,851 head. Of that 104,738 head are committed for delivery in the next two weeks while the remaining 15,113 head are scheduled for the following 15-30 day delivery.

Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $0.69 ($203.95) and select up $0.04 ($189.93) with a movement of 50 loads (24.27 loads of choice, 10.90 loads of select, 9.58 loads of trim and 5.42 loads of ground beef).


Feeder cattle contracts have been the leading force of the livestock complex over the last month leading the industry higher and breaking a path for live cattle contracts to follow. Last Friday closed above the resistance plane at $143.85 and thus far through Monday’s trade the market has kept prices above that threshold. Deferred contracts are enduring some pressure; trading $0.37 to $0.75 lower but a higher trade in nearby contracts is still a win as the market broke through some prolific pressure. August feeders are up $0.27 at $145.10, September feeders are up $0.82 at $147.07 and October feeders are up $0.60 at $147.25.


Hog prices continue in last week’s downward trend as the industry struggles to surpass the pressure that has kept contracts below $55.00 in most nearby months. August lean hogs are down $1.67 at $50.32, October lean hogs are down $0.70 at $48.95 and December lean hogs are down $0.25 at $50.10. Higher midday cash prices are somewhat of an encouraging treat but the industry would still like to see more hogs move as achieving current-ness is the biggest goal that will consequently lead to stronger prices.

The projected lean hog index for 7/30/2020 is down $0.04 at $53.52 and the actual index for 7/29/2020 is up $0.61 at $53.56.Hog prices are higher on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.21 with a weighted average of $41.15, ranging from $37.00 to $41.27 on 3,460 head and a five-day rolling average of $41.61. Pork cutouts total 179.99 loads with 162.23 loads of pork cuts and 17.76 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $7.56, $72.87.

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