DTN Livestock Midday: Cattle Jumps Higher

Cattle feeding. Photo: ©Debra L Ferguson

Cattle Contracts Take Friday’s Momentum

Seeing the opportunity to jump higher before the week’s close, cattle contracts rally modestly and a bump in cash prices helps support the movement.

General Comments

The board’s midmorning shift to higher prices complemented the cash cattle market and sent dressed cattle prices in Nebraska $2.00 higher than Thursday’s trade and $4.00 higher than last week’s average. The cattle market’s support is coming as a pleasant surprise and even though the lean hog market is trading lower, its losses remain mild and with news about another round of CFAP payments, widespread support could carry over into the lean hog complex before the day is over. December corn is up 1 3/4 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is up $6.40. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 76.04 points and NASDAQ is down 128.42 points.

The other important news is that on Friday morning USDA released details about another round of CFAP payments. DTN’s Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton shared the specifics of the announcement, which can be found here in the Ag News section on DTN subscription products. http://online.dtn.com/online/common/link.do?symbolicName=/ag/news/template1&pane ContentId=5&paneParentId=50017&product=/ag/news/topstories&vendorReference=4fb56 b91-6376-4a7b-ad41-ef73067a03fe. But for beef cattle, hogs and pigs the payment will be of the inventory owned (excluding breeding stock) from April 16,2020 to August 31,2020.


Just when we thought the week’s price range had been established – feedlots in the North continued to market their cattle vigorously, not caving early in the week and lo-and-behold they pulled another $2.00 (on top of what the market already gained earlier in the week) from packers Friday morning. Early Friday morning the board was indecisive on how it was going to trade but midmorning support continued to build and now the complex enters Friday afternoon fully higher. It was also interesting to see that of some of the cattle that traded, packers called for delivery as early as next week. Maybe packers need more cattle than assumed? With their willingness to pay higher prices at the end of the week and need of cattle delivered next week, it seems likely.

October live cattle are up $0.45 at $107.22, December live cattle are up $0.75 at $112.05 and February live cattle are up $0.55 at $116.32. It was surprising to see the morning boxed beef prices higher as consumer demand continues to pressure the beef sector.

Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $0.57 ($215.62) and select up $0.60 ($203.99) with a movement of 74 loads (48.27 loads of choice, 10.86 loads of select, 5.06 loads of trim and 9.79 loads of ground beef).


Feeder cattle contracts jumped on the bandwagon; trading fully higher in Friday’s afternoon trade. September feeders are up $1.05 at $140.95, October feeders are up $1.32 at $142.77 and November feeders are up $0.70 at $142.90. Even though the corn market is seeing a two to three cent rally, the optimism building in the cattle sector is outweighing the concern in the corn market.


The lean hog market would like to trade higher but is merely stuck trading sideways as traders sway back and forth. October lean hogs are up $0.20 at $66.72, December lean hogs are down $0.32 at $63.30 and February lean hogs are down $0.05 at $68.15. As the complex keeps trading sideways, more resistance is being built at the $68.00 threshold.

The projected lean hog index for 9/17/2020 is up $1.74 at $69.58 and the actual index for 9/16/2020 is up $1.42 at $67.84. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $2.00 with a weighted average of $60.61, ranging from $50.00 to $64.00 on 7,465 head with a five-day rolling average of $58.36. Pork cutouts total 252.54 loads with 220.62 loads of pork cuts and 31.91 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $1.16, $88.19.

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