DTN Livestock Midday: Cattle Contracts Keep Snappy Pace

Photo: Kansas State University

Tuesday’s cattle futures are fully supported and as the week’s cash cattle trade waits patiently to begin, a stronger market seems to be brewing.


Live and feeder cattle futures continue to find support while lean hog futures fight some pressure in nearby contracts. The cash cattle market is still quiet with trade not expected to develop until sometime Wednesday, most likely after the online auction. March corn is down 2 1/2 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is up $0.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 482.28 points and NASDAQ is up 121.33 points.


Live cattle futures are picking up right where Monday left off and are motivated to rally all through Tuesday’s trade. As the day continues to find support from willing traders, the February live cattle contract has jumped above last week’s high. December live cattle are up $1.35 at $111.35, February live cattle are up $1.50 at $114.40 and April live cattle are up $1.07 at $117.62. With boxed beef prices keeping their upward progression and the futures market fully supported, cash cattle could have an opportunity to trade $1.00 to $2.00 stronger.

Thus far the week’s cash cattle trade remains nonexistent with traders lightly inquiring on cattle, but bids have yet to hit the table. Asking prices of $111 to $112 have been set in parts of the Southern Plains, but the North has yet to determine their prices this week.

Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $2.69 ($244.29) and select up $2.01 ($219.49) with a movement of 65 loads (36.24 loads of choice, 14.62 loads of select, zero loads of trim and 13.98 loads of ground beef).


As corn continues to trade mostly $0.02 lower in nearby contracts, the feeder cattle market scales higher as it feels fully supported. January feeders are up $1.12 at $138.95, March feeders are up $1.17 at $138.45 and April feeders are up $0.67 at $139.65. With cash cattle itching to trade higher and the futures market fully supporting both cattle markets, feeder cattle are selling well early this week despite last week’s softness seen Thursday and Friday.


The lean hog market has faded to the background as the day is inconclusive on whether the market should trade fully higher or lower. Nearby contracts are facing some minor resistance but as time moves closer and closer to the noon hour, the support throughout the futures market is lessening that burden and could push the market fully higher. Still the market neglects to find substantial support from cutout values which could help fundamentally support the contracts. December lean hogs are down $0.15 at $64.80, February lean hogs are down $0.57 at $66.55 and April lean hogs are up $0.15 at $70.35.

Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.39 with a weighted average of $57.93, ranging from $50.00 to $58.50 on 3,662 head and a 5-day rolling average of $58.06. Pork cutouts total 283.42 loads with 252.76 loads of pork cuts and 30.66 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $0.04, $77.81.

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