DTN Livestock Midday: Feeders Follow Modest Corn Rally

Cattle feed lot. Photo: K-State Research and Extension - Creative Commons

The feeder cattle contracts aren’t going to let Friday pass them by without taking advantage of the market’s opportunity to rally.


If anything, the live cattle contracts should be encouraging the feeder cattle contracts to trade higher as the market has had the supportive nature of an exceptional boxed beef market. But Friday’s developments aren’t panning out to be quite that. Instead, the feeder cattle contracts are taking the lead while the corn market posts mild gains, and consequently, the live cattle market is rallying in its footsteps.

July corn is up 12 cents per bushel, and July soybean meal is up $9.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 152.22 points, and the NASDAQ is up 162.66 points.


The live cattle contracts are taking Friday’s support with caution as the market rallies close to $1 higher but isn’t willing to push the market much beyond that. June live cattle are up $1.07 at $116.55, August live cattle are up $0.97 at $119.45 and October live cattle are up $0.80 at $124.30.

Even though the market’s got the entire rest of the afternoon to tend to, the market is seeming all but checked out for the weekend already. Packers have bought the cattle they’re going to buy, the boxed beef market has already made huge leaps and bounds throughout the week, and now it’s just time to let traders trade until the day’s final bell.

Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $0.41 ($305.96) and select up $3.04 ($292.40) with a movement of 47 loads (27.39 loads of choice, 5.30 loads of select, 8.17 loads of trim and 6.60 loads of ground beef).


Earlier in the day, the corn market was dancing on both sides of steady, seeming unsure if the market could pull off another day of higher gains. But, nevertheless, the complex is back to feeling like its normal self and is climbing modestly higher. The feeder cattle contracts have found ample support in Friday’s market and are trending anywhere from $1 to $2 higher. And, earlier in the day, it was closer to $2 to $3 higher.

Even with the corn market’s modest rally, the feeder cattle contracts seem fairly confident in their rally, and unless corn takes a jump for the moon, the feeder cattle contracts may be able to end the week on a positive note. May feeders are up $2.30 at $132.77, August feeders are up $2.60 at $146 and September feeders are up $2.17 at $147.72.


The nearby contracts are feeling some modest pressure throughout Friday morning’s trade, but largely, the lean hog complex is still trading higher as the deferred contracts aren’t being set back from the same lack of trade support. June lean hogs are down $1.42 at $113.07, July lean hogs are down $0.62 at $114.02 and August lean hogs are down $0.57 at $109.35.

The cash hog market is trending lower thus far into Friday’s trade. But understanding that kill schedules are light over the week without having enough hogs to run a full schedule will obviously mitigate packers’ needs at the end of the workweek.

The projected two-day lean hog index for 5/5/2021 is up $0.66 at $108.55, and the actual index for 5/4/2021 is up $0.52 at $107.89. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $1.47 with a weighted average of $109.81 ranging from $108.00 to $123.00 on 2,570 head and a five-day rolling average of $111.46. Pork cutouts total 274.53 loads with 252.12 loads of pork cuts and 22.41 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $3.36, $117.22.

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