DTN Livestock Midday: Livestock Complex Mixed

Cattle feeding. Photo: ©Debra L Ferguson

Livestock Complex Manages Mixed Signals

The livestock complex heads into Wednesday afternoon mixed as feeders are seeing modest support but the live cattle and lean hog markets are still battling pressure.

General Comments

Heading into Wednesday’s afternoon, the livestock complex is split as feeder cattle regain some stability, but both the live cattle and lean hog markets bear mostly lower. There’s been some chatter in the cash cattle market as bids of $104 resurface in Nebraska and $106 in Kansas — so far feedlots have yet to accept any of the bids. December corn is up 5 1/4 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is up $6.10. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 4.87 points and NASDAQ is up 16.29 points.


Live cattle contracts are pressured to trade lower in the nearby contracts, but deferred contracts are managing to attract some modest support as the afternoon nears. October live cattle are down $0.17 at $103.95, December live cattle are down $0.35 at $105.07 and February live cattle are down $0.27 at $108.35. It’s looking like Wednesday’s movement of boxed beef is going to be another impressive day as the noon report shares a movement of 124 loads already. Wednesday’s cash cattle market is idle as bids sit on the table ($104 in Nebraska, and $106 in Kansas) but it appears that feedlots are buying themselves some time.

The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction listed a total of 1,096 head, of which 702 actually sold, 394 head were listed as unsold, and none were listed as PO (Passed Offer). The state-by-state breakdown looks like this: Kansas 184 total head (1 lot), with all 184 head sold at $106.50; Nebraska 394 total head (2 lots), with none sold; Texas 518 total head (3 lots), with all 518 head sold at $106.25-$106.50. The delivery date/weighted averages breakdown is as listed: 1-9-day delivery: 558 head total, of which all sold, with a weighted average price of $106.50; 1-17-day delivery 538 head total, of which 144 head sold, with a weighted average price of $106.25.

Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $0.95 ($209.65) and select up $0.30 ($191.97) with a movement of 124 loads (63.75 loads of choice, 14.89 loads of select, 14.18 loads of trim and 31.18 loads of ground beef).


While the live cattle and lean hog contrast strain to lower marks, the feeder cattle complex is slowly building back what Monday lost. October feeders are up $0.70 at $135.20, November feeders are up $1.02 at $131.80 and January feeders are up $0.65 at $127.35. As the market eroded earlier in the week to prices not seen since the later part of first quarter, traders saw an opportunity to jump back into the marketplace as prices were low. For cattlemen selling calves this week, the market’s change of tune is helpful, but buyers are still leery of the shaky marketplace and see rising corn prices as another burdening factor.


Continuing to back away from the resistance plan at $70.00, the lean hog market is trying to balance contradicting signals. Following Tuesday’s stronger cash hog close, some were hopeful that the market was drumming up some modest support but seeing Wednesday’s cash hog trade is quite the opposite. As the market rallied from August 1 until now, the lean hog complex is trying to hold onto any viable support. December lean hogs are down $0.02 at $69.22, February lean hogs are down $0.72 at $68.55 and April lean hogs are down $0.65 at $70.75.

Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $2.55 with a weighted average of $59.29, ranging from $56.00 to $65.00 on 4,605 head and a five-day rolling average of $61.18. Pork cutouts total 178.60 with a movement of 158.01 loads of pork cuts and 20.59 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $1.05, $97.96.

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