End-of-Week Slump Continues
A few contracts show small gains, but most live cattle, feeder cattle, and lean hog futures contracts are moving lower at the middle of Friday’s session.
A few nearby live cattle contracts are peeking into positive territory in the middle of Friday’s session, but overall, the tone of livestock trade remains bearish with lower momentum carrying through from the past four sessions and a big cattle-on-feed report expected. December corn is up 2 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is up $0.60 per ton. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 152 points and NASDAQ is down 42 points.
December live cattle are up $0.45 at $103.925, February live cattle are up $0.225 at $107 and April live cattle are down $0.175 at $109.70. The trade continues to look to Friday afternoon’s Cattle on Feed numbers, which are bearishly expected to show record-large October inventory in the range of 11.65 million head. Bear in mind, however, that while the raw October 1 number of animals may be large, many of the new arrivals this fall have been coming off of pastures notably light in weight, with extreme and exceptional drought still reigning over Colorado and most of the western U.S. cattle country.
Earlier this week Northern dressed deals ranged from $163 to $165, which is mostly $3 to $4 lower than last week. Southern cattle have traded for mostly $106, which is mostly $2 lower than last week.
Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $0.11 ($208.97) and select up $1.02 ($192.10) with a movement of 75 loads (34.22 loads of choice, 6.94 loads of select, 23.73 loads of trimmings, and 10.07 loads of ground beef).
With the nearby corn futures contract hitting a fresh yearly high at $4.19 3/4 in intraday movement Friday, the conservative feeder cattle pricing at sale barns and on the futures board will likely continue. The October contract, up $0.175 at $134, has experimented with some small gains off and on through the session, but deferred contracts portray the more overwhelming sense of bearishness that has been true of feeder cattle contracts since Monday’s slide. The November contract is down $0.175 at $130.25 and the January 2021 contract is down $0.125 at $126.075.
There was virtually no question that hog futures contracts would be headed toward a lower weekly close as the Friday trading session rounds out, and although the December contract is up $0.75 at $66.95, deferred contracts are indeed staying on their downward course. The February contract is down $0.125 at $66.725 and the April contract is down $0.35 at $69.35.
The projected lean log index for 10/22/2020 is down $0.06 at $78.54 and the actual index for 10/21 is down $0.09 at $78.60. The National Direct Morning Hog report was delayed Friday due to packer submission problems, but Thursday’s weighted average was $59.80 after a five-day rolling average of $60.31. Pork cut-outs total 187.83 loads with 174.61 loads of pork cuts and 13.22 loads of trim. Pork cut-out values: down $0.11, $98.73.