It is the last trading day of the month and the day before a three-day weekend. This could influence trade in some way or just level futures drifting. USDA said it will not seek to overturn a court ruling ordering pork packing plants to operate at slower line speeds. Even though this will not take effect immediately, it may impact trading.
Cattle: Steady Futures: Mixed Live Equiv: $239.59 +0.40*
Hogs: Steady Futures: Mixed Lean Equiv: $133.06 +2.39**
* 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
It is Friday and the market is looking ahead to a three-day weekend. Historically, trading volume would be lighter as traders would leave the trading floor early. That is not the case anymore with electronic trading. Volume generally continues to remain strong. However, there could be some liquidation of positions prior to the weekend and also due to it being the last day to trade for the month.
The trading range of cash cattle widened a bit with prices in the South from $116 to $120 and in the North from $187 to $192. The majority were traded at steady with last week at $119 and $191 respectively. There may be some cattle traded Friday, but it will be some cleanup business. Weekly beef export sales were good at 27,900 metric tons, but not good enough to light a fire under traders to buy into the market.
Futures action Thursday did not indicate the trend is turning back up. Boxed beef prices were slightly higher. The market will be closed on Monday for observance of Memorial Day.