DTN Livestock Midday: Contracts Lacking Trader Interest

    Photo: Blair Fannin, Texas AgriLife Extension

    As the day passes by, Monday’s trade throughout the livestock sector has been mostly quiet as the complex needs more trader action to move the marketplace higher.

    General Comments

    Trailing into Monday’s afternoon trade, livestock contracts are still feeling pressured — especially in the cattle sector. Some of the downward pressure is coming from lack of trader interest despite some strong incentives popping up Monday as corn prices are lower and current showlists fall in favor of cattle feeders. December corn is down 8 1/2 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is down $2.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 750.32 points and NASDAQ is down 120.51 points.

    LIVE CATTLE

    Live cattle contracts haven’t been as favorable to this week’s beginning as they were to last week’s end. October live cattle are down $0.85 at $106.50, December live cattle are down $1.45 at $110.40 and February live cattle are down $1.17 at $114.90. As the market seems to be in left field, trading with minimal trader interest, the market is left with not other option but to scale lower. If the board ends up trading somewhat favorably to feeders, and Friday’s Cattle on Feed report doesn’t create too much of a stir in the marketplace, feedlots may be able to work a stronger (at least steady) market again this week. New showlists appear to be somewhat smaller in Texas, and lower in Kansas and Nebraska/Colorado.

    Last week’s negotiated purchases totaled 105,118 head. Of that 84,204 head are committed for delivery in the next two weeks, while the remaining 20,914 head are for delivery in the following 15 to 30 days.

    Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $1.22 ($216.86) and select up $1.46 ($205.40) with a movement of 40 loads (26.40 loads of choice, 6.33 loads of select, 3.84 loads of trim and 3.70 loads of ground beef).

    FEEDER CATTLE

    The feeder cattle complex is balancing a tough market as there’s pressure on the board at $144, willing the market to trade lower, and the demand throughout the countryside isn’t even. Yearlings continue to sell for excellent prices (as they easily sold $3.00 to $4.00 higher last week), vaccinated and weaned spring-born calves are selling mostly steady but it’s the bawling, unweaned calves that are pulling the market lower. September feeders are down $0.20 at $140.67, October feeders are down $0.87 at $141.55 and November feeders are down $1.02 at $141.50.

    LEAN HOGS

    Although the nearby lean hog contracts are feeling some pressure, the complex is still trading mostly sideways keeping in its holding pattern awhile looking for an export driver to again support the market. October lean hogs are down $0.42 at $66.07, December lean hogs are down $1.10 at $62.42 and February lean hogs are down $0.45 at $68.07. The market needs both fundamental and technical support to be able to sustain the levels the board’s at now. The morning’s cash trade was down slightly but on a considerable movement, and hopefully the cutout value will be able to carry into the day’s close.

    The projected lean hog index for 9/18/2020 is up $1.71 at $71.29 and the actual index for 9/17/2020 is up $1.74 at $69.58. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.13 with a weighted average of $60.86, ranging from $55.00 to $64.00 on 7,496 head and a five-day rolling average of $59.56. Pork cutouts total 160.81 loads with 135.29 loads of pork cuts and 25.52 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $3.09, $90.62.

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