Both live cattle and hog futures Monday were two sided, indicating no solid price direction. Cash markets are not overly supportive either, leaving futures searching for support.
Cattle: Lower Futures: Mixed Live Equiv: $232.76 +2.24*
Hogs: Steady Futures: Higher Lean Equiv: $123.27 +0.87**
* 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
Live cattle futures were in a wait and see mode Monday and likely the same will be seen Tuesday. Traders would like to see some cash business before taking a position on market direction. Boxed beef closed up very strong again with choice up $2.68 and select up $3.70, but that will have little influence on cash this week.
There were a few head of cattle that traded Monday at steady money, but that provides no strong indication of what the average will be for the week. In fact, the anticipation is for no better than steady cash and possibly $1.00 lower.
Packers have reduced slaughter and already have cattle on their books, leaving less urgency to bid aggressively. The Commitment of Traders report showed funds increasing their net-long positions by 6,080 to the current level of 54,945 contacts.