DTN Livestock Midday: Live Cattle, Lean Hogs Find Support

After Monday’s disappointing trade in both the live cattle and lean hog markets, Tuesday’s market is giving the contracts a chance at regaining some of the position they lost.

GENERAL COMMENTS:

Both the live cattle and lean hog markets are excitedly trading higher into Tuesday afternoon, but the fate of the feeder cattle market isn’t as lucky. As corn prices find stability through Tuesday’s market and climb modestly higher, the feeder cattle contracts have begun to trade lower.

July corn is up 8 1/4 cents per bushel and July soybean meal is down $2.90. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 76.12 points and NASDAQ is up 78.40 points.

LIVE CATTLE

The live cattle contracts have picked up a snappier tune and are fully higher heading into Tuesday afternoon. June live cattle are up $1.42 at $116.77, August live cattle are up $1.35 at $119.77 and October live cattle are up $1.25 at $124.65.

The market’s encouraging beat could be stemming from the fact that midday boxed beef prices are up notably and from the fact that Argentina has posted a 30-day government mandated ban on all cattle exports. This could give the U.S. an opportunity to potentially export more cattle in the weeks ahead, but as with all things, time will tell.

The cash cattle market has yet to be tested as packers have yet to offer up bids. Asking prices in the South are noted at $121 and bids in the North are not established yet.

Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $3.30 ($322.92) and select up $2.72 ($299.61) with a movement of 50 loads (17.44 loads of choice, 12.74 loads of select, 13.10 loads of trim and 6.92 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

The feeder cattle contracts are trading fully lower as the corn market finds stability. May feeders are down $0.82 at $137.10, August feeders are down $0.90 at $151.85 and September feeders are down $0.80 at $153.42.

Even though it was utterly refreshing to see the corn market come below $7.00 last week, the feeder cattle contracts are still going to have to keep extremely close tabs on corn prices as cost of gains continue to be a limiting factor for buying calves this summer and potentially the upcoming fall.

LEAN HOGS

The cash hog market continues to drive itself lower as Canadian hogs continue to work their way into the U.S. markets and ultimately give packers more supplies to choose from. But even with the deterioration in the cash hog market, the steadily higher trade in the pork cutout value is seen as a positive sign and traders are willing to move the market higher heading into Tuesday’s afternoon.

June lean hogs are up $0.87 at $109.52, July lean hogs are up $1.45 at $110.37 and August lean hogs are up $1.45 at $106.77. With prices still volatile and subject to drastic swings, it’s essential that we carefully watch the day’s estimated slaughter and continue to track the pork cutout value closely.

The projected lean hog index for May 17 is up $0.36 at $111.75 and the actual index for May 14 is up $0.46 at $111.39. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $4.41 with a weighted average of $103.23, ranging from $101.68 to $113.00 on 2,624 head and a five-day rolling average of $108.62.

Pork cutouts total 224.08 loads with 205.32 loads of pork cuts and 18.76 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $1.70, $118.27.

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