DTN Livestock Midday: Cattle Contracts Head Higher

Photo: Blair Fannin, Texas AgriLife Extension

Cattle Contracts Take the Spotlight, Hogs Head Lower

Hog contracts headed into the week fully higher but as Tuesday rolled into a new day, cattle contracts took the market higher while the lean hog complex scaled lower.

General Comments

The livestock complex trades mixed into the afternoon as cattle contracts jump higher but the lean hog contracts are starting to run out of support. The encouraged trade throughout the cattle contracts should help feedlots entice packers into paying more again this week. Unfortunately, as the cattle contracts grow and build into the afternoon, traders are simply seeming to lose interest in the hog complex as its momentum is dwindling.

December corn is up 1 cent per bushel and December soybean meal is up $0.80. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 273.86 points and NASDAQ is up 10.46 points.


Live cattle contracts are pushing into Tuesday’s afternoon fully higher. August live cattle are up $0.95 at $104.55, October live cattle are up $1.47 at $108.62 and December live cattle are up $1.12 at $1.12 at $112.10. The strength throughout the live cattle sector helped pull feeder cattle contracts higher as the market wasn’t sure if fully higher was trade needed to head. Packers have called on cattle throughout most of the feeding region, but bids are still illusive. There have been some cattle trade in Kansas for mostly $103, but a limited sampling did sell for $106. Bids could start to surface as early as Tuesday afternoon, but it wouldn’t be surprising if trade waited for Wednesday’s online auction and then developed.

Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $1.15 ($208.35) and select up $2.74 ($196.67) with a movement of 97 loads (51.38 loads of choice, 13.03 loads of select, 9.14 loads of trim and 23.48 loads of ground beef).


The longer the feeder cattle contracts are given to trade the higher the complex rolls into Tuesday’s afternoon. August feeders are up $1.07 at $144.67, September feeders are up $1.42 at $146.77 and October feeders are up $1.22 at $147.80. Having pushed through the nearby resistance again, the complex will have some solidifying to do. Feeder cattle sales support a stronger market but its whether or not traders feel comfortable at these levels and if these prices are sustainable over the short-term and also heading into the fall run.


The lean hog complex rallied robustly over the last two trading days and although Tuesday is trading mostly lower, the complex reached levels not seen since the middle of June. October lean hogs are down $1.50 at $52.32, December lean hogs are down $1.00 at $53.70 and February lean hogs are down $0.82 at $60.92. In the same lower fashion, the cash hog market couldn’t push packers higher again Tuesday morning, but as the afternoon rolls around it would be encouraging for packers to keep their chain-speeds higher if cutout values could scale higher. With a midday cutout value up $5.02, the afternoon report could show a higher close as well.

The projected lean hog index for 8/10/2020 is up $0.77 at $53.79 and the actual index for 8/7/2020 is up $0.58 at $53.02. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.82 with a weighted average of $37.61, ranging from $36.00 to $38.81 on 4,860 head and a five-day rolling average of $38.43. Pork cutouts total 222.12 loads with 200.69 loads of pork cuts and 21.44 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $5.02, $75.09.

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