DTN Livestock Open: Trade to Focus on Export Sales

©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

The weekly beef export sales report will be adjusted due to the error in reporting the amount of sales to the Netherlands last week. It is unclear how this may impact trading as this has already been known. Overall trade in livestock futures might slow as we approach the three-day weekend.

Cattle: Steady Futures: Lower Live Equiv: $239.19 -0.26*
Hogs: Lower Futures: Mixed Lean Equiv: $130.67 -0.54**
* 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:

The standout news Wednesday was the weakness of boxed beef. After a seemingly ending rise of prices, choice cutout declined $0.43 with select down $0.21. Is it possible that Memorial Day will actually top the market? It certainly is plausible that demand may slow, but prices still may remain high as consumers want beef and have sufficient disposable income to spend on it. Cattle futures could not find sufficient support to close higher.

Cash was traded about steady with Tuesday with cattle in the South $1.00 higher at $119 to $120 while trading in the North was steady, averaging $191. However, there were a few cattle traded lower. This may not be an indication of what may happen the rest of the week, but it does raise a bit of concern. June futures point to the idea cash may trade lower and that seems to be more realistic as the days and weeks progress.

Weekly exports sales will be released Thursday morning, which will contain a large revision by the USDA due to the reporting error last week. A sale of 33,700 metric tons (mt) to the Netherlands was reported instead of the actual sale of 34 mt. This correction will be made Thursday on the report.

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