DTN Livestock Midday: Livestock Contracts Slow

Photo: Blair Fannin, Texas AgriLife Extension

Looking for Technical Support

It’s been a slow morning for the livestock sector as contracts trade on both sides of steady, looking for a concise direction.

General Comments

Tuesday’s been a tough sell to the livestock complex as traders are more apprehensive about diving into the livestock markets and support is minimal. The board is still uncertain which direction trade should roll and consequently trade is mostly mixed. Cash cattle trade still remains elusive. December corn is down 3 1/2 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is down $2.00. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 118.91 points and NASDAQ is up 168.28 points.


The live cattle complex is seeing a minor setback in prices throughout the market as prices dip $0.07 to $0.67 lower Tuesday morning. Putting a question market on feedlots’ ability to move the cash cattle market higher, cash cattle trade sits idle, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the day passed with little to no action. October live cattle are down $0.32 at $106.55, December live cattle are down $0.67 at $111.05 and February live cattle are down $0.10 at $115.60. The spot nearby contract rivals the $107 resistance plane, which is also putting some short-term pressure on the market.

Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $0.50 ($216.71) and select up $0.30 ($208.06) with a movement of 79 loads (50.23 loads of choice, 9.10 loads of select, 7.21 loads of trim and 12.32 loads of ground beef).


There’s plenty of uncertainty looming throughout the livestock complex, but through the noon hour feeder cattle contracts have been able to keep their support with modest gains. September feeders are down $0.20 at $141.30, October feeders are up $0.42 at $143.02 and November feeders are up $0.27 at $143.47. Helping the feeder cattle complex trade somewhat higher are weakening corn prices and the hope that cash cattle trade is higher this week.

The countryside is going to see a shift in feeder cattle sales before the fall run as bawling calves are already hitting some sale barns and buyers are interested in the hard-to-come-by yearlings, but aren’t overly anxiously to pick up groups of high-risk calves. With the harsh swings in temperature putting additional stress on fresh bawling calves, concerns of sickness and lack of backgrounding shots — buyers are going to want to wait for long-weaned calves that aren’t as much of a risk, or are going to want prices to get cheaper for these calves hitting the auctions before they buy.


Coming off the heels of last week’s roaring rally, the lean hog complex is left looking for technical support. Can the complex maintain at these levels? How long will it be until exports from the U.S. are sought after? Thankfully Tuesday’s minor setback is minimal, and the market isn’t just set on crashing lower. October lean hogs are up $1.02 at $65.65, December lean hogs are down $0.32 at $63.25 and February lean hogs are up $0.07 at $68.85.

The projected lean hog index for 9/11/2020 is up $1.27 at $64.55, and the actual index for 9/10/2020 is up $0.84 at $63.28. Hog prices are lower on then National Direct Afternoon Hog Report, down $0.08 with a weighted average of $58.09, ranging from $47.00 to $65.00 on 6,713 head and a five-day rolling average of $52.85. Pork cutouts total 257.54 loads with 239.47 loads of pork cuts and 18.07 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $6.64, $86.35.

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