DTN Livestock Midday: Cash Cattle Stand Off

Cattle feeding. Photo: ©Debra L Ferguson

The board is undecided where this week’s market should head, but with such uncertainty the entire livestock complex heads lower throughout Wednesday’s trade.

General Comments

Hesitation started to build throughout Tuesday’s trade but as Wednesday as clipped further and further into its day, the livestock complex is trading mostly lower. The tension with the cash cattle market is only growing thicker as the Fed Cattle Exchange wasn’t able to sell any lots Wednesday morning and though some cattle feedlots have been offered bids, feeders are not interested as they are below their asking prices. December corn is up 3 1/4 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is up $4.80. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 213.04 points and NASDAQ is down 16.82 points.


Even though some nearby contracts are trading higher, the live cattle complex is trading mostly lower. October live cattle are down $0.42 at $106.67, December live cattle are up $0.12 at $111.72 and February live cattle are up $0.12 at $116.15. The anxiety for this week’s cash cattle trade continues to build as there’s yet to be any bids accepted in the South and the North hasn’t even had any bids offered yet. Asking prices in the South range from $105 to $106 and the Northern asking prices are still unknown. At this point its safe to say that feeders are holding out, looking to move the market higher or willing to roll cattle over to next week. Tuesday there was rumor that two plants plan to have a dark Saturday, and as of Wednesday morning that seems to be solidified.

The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction listed a total of 613 head consisting of lots, in Kansas and Texas only of which no cattle actually sold, 339 head were listed in Kansas and 274 head were listed in Texas. A total of 359 head were listed as unsold, and 254 head were listed as PO (Passed Offer), the offers that were passed were at $102.25. Asking prices ranged from $101 to $104.

Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $1.01 ($215.08) and select down $1.04 ($205.24) with a movement of 87 loads (42.88 loads of choice, 17.69 loads of select, 4.87 loads of trim and 21.37 loads of ground beef).


Feeder cattle contracts are trading fully lower into Wednesday afternoon. The lack of direction from the live cattle complex and weakening boxed beef prices make producers leery about the upcoming fall run as feeder buyers could be hesitant with so many floating unknowns absorbing the marketplace. September feeders are down $0.80 at $140.87, October feeders are down $1.02 at $142.62 and November feeders are down $0.67 at $143.45.


The lean hog complex is following the rest of the livestock sector and trading lower throughout Wednesday. Is the top in? Or is the lean hog complex simply stabilizing and buying some time? Pork cutouts were stellar Tuesday afternoon and though the midday cutout is just up slightly, continued support is still a movement in the positive direction.

Export reports for the next couple of weeks could be extremely telling helping gauge if other countries are serious about buying now. October lean hog are down $1.30 at $64.40, December lean hogs are down $1.62 at $61.42 and February lean hogs are down $1.05 at $67.65.

The projected lean hog index for 9/14/2020 is up $0.80 at $65.35, and the actual index for 9/11/2020 is up $1.27 at $64.55. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Afternoon Hog Report, down $0.77 with a weighted average of $58.20, ranging from $47.00 to $65.00 on 4,364 head and a five-day rolling average of $54.65. Pork cutouts total 184.04 loads with 153.49 loads of pork cuts and 30.55 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $0.69, $84.95.

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