DTN Livestock Midday: Cattle Contracts Support Mild Gains

    Cattle feeding. Photo: ©Debra L Ferguson

    It’s encouraging to see Monday’s support in the live cattle complex even if the rally is minute given the bearish Cattle on Feed Report that was posted Friday afternoon.

    General Comments

    Nearby cattle contracts are drawing some attention and trading mildly higher into Monday afternoon. For the most part, the day’s trade is slow to develop and unless substantial trader interest develops throughout the afternoon, the day will most likely close in the same lackadaisical manner. The lean hog complex is dancing on both sides of steady undecided if the market’s excitement over potential exports will keep fueling the market or not. December live cattle are up $0.33 at $111.725, November feeder cattle are up $0.25 at $140.4, December lean hogs are down $0.55 at $63.875, December corn is up 4 1/4 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is down $5.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 468.98 points and NASDAQ is up 112.58 points.


    Though live cattle contracts are rallying modestly, it’s still a win for the market following Friday’s bearish Cattle on Feed Report. October live cattle are up $0.25 at $107.82, December live cattle are up $0.10 at $111.50 and February live cattle are up $0.17 at $114.77. Following last week’s sizable cash cattle trade, feeders will be motivated to price cattle higher again this week after two weeks of stronger cash cattle trade. Asking prices won’t develop until later in the week but new showlists appear to be larger in Nebraska/Colorado, somewhat smaller in Texas, and lower in Kansas.

    Last week’s negotiated purchases totaled 124,791 head. Of that 91,672 head are committed for delivery in the next two weeks while the remaining 33,119 head are for delivery in the following 15 to 30 days.

    Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $1.67 ($217.67) and select down $0.58 ($206.40) with a movement of 89 loads (54.15 loads of choice, 7.58 loads of select, 5.26 loads of trim and 21.58 loads of ground beef).


    Feeder cattle market is pulling attention toward the nearby contracts as October feeders are up $0.15 at $140.47, November feeders are up $0.20 at $140.30 and January feeders are down $0.12 at $138.70. The market would like to rally confidently and throughout the entire complex but with the corn market rallying $0.02 to $0.04 per bushel, feeder cattle contracts are hesitant. With feed becoming an issue throughout the country it wouldn’t be surprising to see more calves and feeders hitting the marketplace as early as next week to kick off the official start of the October fall run.


    The lean hog market doesn’t know whether the market can support higher prices and is trading mixed into the afternoon. Pork cutout prices are sharply higher at midday which hopefully will trickle into the afternoon’s prices and keep the same trend throughout the week. If Thursday’s export report is fruitful the market has a stronger chance of rallying trader support again. October lean hogs are up $0.82 at $72.57, December lean hogs are down $0.45 at $63.97 and February lean hogs are down $0.67 at $68.80.

    The projected lean hog index for 9/25/2020 is up $0.89 at $75.42, and the actual index for 9/24/2020 is up $0.83 at $74.53. Hog prices are unavailable on the National Direct Morning Hog Report due to packer submission problems. Pork cutouts total 157.34 loads with 144.41 loads of pork cuts and 12.92 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $5.72, $97.04.

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