DTN Livestock Midday: Cattle Contracts Gaining Support

©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

Early Wednesday morning it wasn’t clear how the market was going to trade as traders were slow to invest, but as the day has progressed traders are showing support again for the cattle contracts.

General Comments

Early Wednesday morning the livestock complex wasn’t sure which way the day’s chips were going to fall. At times all three contracts were trading lower but as the day moved closer and closer to the noon hour more support has solidified in the cattle contracts, helping move the markets to a slightly higher position. There is some cash cattle trade starting to develop in parts of Texas but so far, it’s been a small enough scale and trade is still expected to wait until later in the week.

March corn is up 2 cents per bushel and January soybean meal is down $1.90. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 27.42 points and NASDAQ is down 20.48 points.

LIVE CATTLE

As the noon hour approaches, the live cattle market is seeing more and more support develop throughout the contracts while is perfect timing as cash cattle trade is starting to draw some packer interest. December live cattle are down $0.05 at $110.57, February live cattle are up $0.40 at $113.60 and April live cattle are up $0.30 at $117.10.

With boxed beef prices starting to top, feedlots need the board to support a higher cash cattle trade in order to easily get this week’s market moved higher. There’s been some light trade reported in parts of Texas at $110 to $112, which is mostly steady with last week’s trade. Asking prices are around $112 to $113 in the South and $175 in the North.

The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction listed a total of 1,025 head, of which 488 actually sold, 393 head were listed as unsold, and 144 head were listed as PO (Passed Offer). The state by state breakdown looks like this: Texas 779 total head, with 488 head sold at $110.50-$110.75, 147 head unsold, 144 head listed as PO ($110.50); Nebraska 246 total head, no of which none sold.

The delivery date/weighted averages breakdown is as listed: 1-9 day delivery: 488 head total, 197 head sold, with a weighted average price of $110.75; 1-17 day delivery 537 head total, 291 head sold, with a weighted average price of $110.50.

Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $1.70 ($241.70) and select up $1.13 ($224.21) with movement of 75 loads (48.01 loads of choice, 8.22 loads of select, 6.86 loads of trim and 12.15 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

The fact that traders had cold feed early Wednesday morning and that the fact that the corn market is seeing a slight rally isn’t bothering the feeder cattle market one bit. January feeders are up $0.22 at $141.87, March feeders are up $0.40 at $141.05 and April feeders are up $0.27 at $142.15. It seems like the market will have successful day as the support around the noon hour is building, it will just be important to monitor how the contracts react to the market’s looming resistance levels.

LEAN HOGS

The lean hog market is being pressured to trade lower again Wednesday morning and so far contracts haven’t tried fighting the market’s downward notion. December lean hogs are down $0.60 at $66.37, February lean hogs are down $0.72 at $68.02 and April lean hogs are down $0.40 at $70.97. Again, looking at the pork cutout value its easy to get excited about seeing a positive figure but until there’s followed through support, a day higher following by two to three days of lower trade doesn’t amount to much.

The projected lean hog index for 12/01/2020 is up $0.04 at $66.71 and the actual index for 11/30/2020 is down $0.14 at $66.67. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.34 with a weighted average of $56.42, ranging from $50.00 to $58.50 on 5,327 head and a five-day rolling average of $56.46. Pork cutouts total 187.74 loads with 159.70 loads of pork cuts and 28.04 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $4.08, $81.16.

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