DTN Livestock Open: Weekly Export Sales Will Provide Direction

    Cattle feeding. Photo: ©Debra L Ferguson

    Cattle futures continue to struggle and have not been able to find solid footing. Disappointing cash does not provide much incentive to buy futures. Hog futures have been strong, almost eliminating all of the losses as supplies continue to tighten.

    Cattle: Steady Futures: Mixed Live Equiv: $215.48 +1.62*
    Hogs: Steady Futures: Mixed Lean Equiv: $114.79 -2.47**
    * based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue.
    (The Live Cattle Equiv. Index has been updated to depict recent changes in live cattle weights and grading percentages.)
    ** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue

    GENERAL COMMENTS:

    Cattle futures tried to push higher again Wednesday, but just could not hold even though grain futures fell. There is further disappointment setting up for cash cattle as feedlots are struggling with higher feed prices. Sellers are anxious to move cattle and lower futures have increased the possibility of lower prices in the weeks to come.

    With more interest in selling cattle, packers are able to procure supply ahead of time without being forced to bid higher. Boxed beef prices were mixed, which did not help matters. It seems like the futures charts indicate a sideways trading pattern developing, which may be around for a little while.

    Futures are oversold technically, but that may not matter through the rest of the week as cash is likely not going to get any better.

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