Thursday has ended up being a far better day than anticipated as all of the livestock contracts are trading higher into the afternoon.
Support is pouring into the livestock contracts allowing the entire marketplace to trade higher heading into Thursday’s afternoon. Unfortunately, with there already being a good test on this week’s cash cattle market it’s going to be hard for feedlots to push the cash cattle market higher. March corn is up 1 3/4 cents per bushel and March soybean meal is down $3.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 39.11 points and NASDAQ is up 28.39 points.
Feedlots are wishing that with the stout advancement in the boxed beef market Thursday morning and the reignited support that’s allowing the live cattle contracts to trade higher, that they would have waited until later in the week to market their cattle. February live cattle are up $0.72 at $114.07, April live cattle are up $0.92 at $119.80 and June live cattle are up $0.95 at $117.10. There’s been a little renewed interest in the cash cattle market, but packers are hesitant to seem too aggressive while the market is strong.
Watching the April board continues to be a top priority and with Thursday’s advancement the contract has now moved to long-term highs and is on the edge of trading at $120. Bids of $172 have surfaced in Nebraska while the rest of the countryside sits idle. Asking prices of $112 still remain in the South and cattle in the North left to sell are priced at $176 to $178.
Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $2.48 ($221.39) and select up $3.01 ($210.19) with a movement of 70 loads (39.88 loads of choice, 5.43 loads of select, 6.81 loads of trim and 17.89 loads of ground beef).
Even as the corn contracts have bounced around trading anywhere from $0.01 to $0.04 higher throughout the morning, the feeder cattle contracts seem to shed no concern and trade fully higher once again. January feeders are up $0.25 at $135.55, March feeders are up $1.52 at $139.05 and April feeders are up $1.25 at $141.87. Feeder cattle sales have been hit or miss this week with excellent demand being strongly noted for light-weight calves that offer the ability to either go into the feedlot later this spring or work as grass calves — not to mention, the spring contracts are far more favorable the further time rolls into 2021.
With pork cutouts printing a fancy $4.96 gain Thursday morning, and the futures market fully supported the lean hog complex is having a terrific Thursday. Now yes, the cash hog market is lower but following packer’s purchase of around 13,000 head Wednesday afternoons, the cash market is expected to trade lower. February lean hogs are down $0.10 at $68.32, April lean hogs are up $0.97 at $74.05 and June lean hogs are up $0.72 at $85.22.
The projected lean hog index for 1/20/2021 is down $0.27 at $65.40, and the actual index for 1/19/2021 is down $0.25 at $65.67. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $1.95 with a weighted average of $54.69, ranging from $46.00 to $56.50 on 5,313 head and a five-day rolling average of $55.07. Pork cutouts total 156.48 loads with 120.10 loads of pork cuts and 36.38 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $4.96, $83.98.