DTN Livestock Midday: Lean Hogs See Sharp Losses

    Photo: Blair Fannin, Texas AgriLife Extension

    Lean hog futures are sharply lower as traders become leery of how far the contract has advanced since the first of the year.


    Tuesday started out rough, but as time ticks closer and closer to the noon hour live cattle futures are seeing more interest develop. Traders aren’t willing to boldly support the market until they can understand how this week’s cash cattle will trade. But strong trade throughout the futures complex does help feedlots gain their desire of stronger cash prices. May corn is up 9 1/2 cents per bushel and May soybean meal is up $2.90. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 26.27 points and NASDAQ is down 121.92 points.


    As the day advances closer and closer to noon, live cattle futures are seeing more support develop throughout the complex. April live cattle are up $0.45 at $119.42, June live cattle are up $0.10 at $117.60 and August live cattle are up $0.07 at $116.57. The environment surrounding the live cattle market is still on shaky ground given the weak cash cattle prices that have come as a disappointment to feedlots over the last four weeks. Regardless of what the board does, feedlots know that with the April contract trading around $120, now is their time to push the cash market — especially while packers are running swift chain speeds to get cattle processed. Bids are still unfound throughout the countryside and it’s unlikely any worthy interest will develop until after the Fed Cattle Exchange. Asking prices in the South are $116 and the North has yet to share their asking prices.

    Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $2.07 ($236.96) and select down $1.10 ($226.54) with a movement of 66 loads (40.38 loads of choice, 12.69 loads of select, 4.13 loads of trim and 8.94 loads of ground beef).


    The pressure of rallying corn prices and a weak cattle complex does not sit well with feeder cattle futures. Last week the feeder cattle contracts fought to maintain some level of steadiness, but upon this week’s arrival sharp losses have been endured with only spotty support strengthening the live cattle sector; this could be the theme for the week for the feeder cattle contracts. March feeders are down $1.30 at $135.90, April feeders are down $1.45 at $139.67 and May feeders closed $1.37 lower at $142.52.


    Lean hog futures are tumbling lower, feeling the sharpest losses in the nearby contracts as traders are now uncomfortable with the market’s elevated levels. April lean hogs are down $2.17 at $85.55, June lean hogs are down $1.67 at $93.27 and July lean hogs are down $1.25 at $93.87. It may seem odd that the contracts are moving lower while the morning pork cutout values are up a whopping $7.08, but remember the day isn’t over until we’ve seen the afternoon cutout close from which the midday value can vary exponentially.

    The projected CME Lean Hog index for 2/26/2021 is up $1.20 at $81.90 and the actual index for 2/25/2021 is up $0.75 at $80.70. Hog prices are higher on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.46 with a weighted average of $78.42, ranging from $76.67 to $85.00 on 4,740 head and a five-day rolling average of $76.42. Pork cutouts total 242.23 loads with 222.14 loads of pork cuts and 20.09 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $7.08, $99.45.

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