DTN Livestock Open: Weekly Export Sales May Set Direction

Photo: Kay Ledbetter, Texas AgriLife Extension

The livestock complex closed higher across the board Wednesday despite slightly stronger grain prices. The concern is there was little else to hang a hat on in the cattle complex. Hogs saw lower cash, but higher cutouts.

Cattle: Lower Futures: Higher Live Equiv: $197.60 +$0.22*
Hogs: Steady Futures: Mixed Lean Equiv: $128.85 +$1.75**
* 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:

Live cattle futures were able to gain Wednesday, but the gain was amidst uncertainty over cash this week. It appears as if cash business is going to go down to the wire this week as showlists are rather small and asking prices higher than packers want to pay.

It is unclear who will blink first, but the current market may indicate packers have the upper hand. However, feedlots being current and grain prices manageable may increase their resolve to hold for at least steady prices.

Boxed beef price finally showed some strength with both categories posting higher prices Wednesday; the gains were meager, but gains nonetheless. Choice cuts increased $0.36 with select cuts up $0.19 Weekly export sales will be released Thursday morning, providing some direction for futures.

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