DTN Livestock Midday: Live Cattle Seek Higher Levels

Photo: Blair Fannin, Texas AgriLife Extension

The cash cattle market is anxiously waiting to trade higher, but so far there’s been very little interest seen.


Live cattle futures are realizing with consumer demand as robust as it is and with boxes jumping higher throughout the week, the futures might as well trade higher too! This comes with perfect timing for the cash cattle trade as feedlots aspire to see higher prices this week but will need the market’s full support to do so.

December corn is up 3 1/2 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is down $4.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 54.78 points and NASDAQ is up 104.65 points.


Live cattle contracts are just itching for another good rally to develop in Wednesday’s market. With boxed beef prices continuing to seek a brisk pace to higher prices, the cash cattle market stands an excellent chance at demanding higher prices this week. Thus far, there’s not been much trade throughout the countryside other than a few head in Nebraska which sold for $123.00; but before the day is over more trade should develop.

Asking prices remain around $122-plus in the South and $200-plus in the North. August live cattle are up $0.27 at $123.20, October live cattle are up $0.40 at $128.80 and December live cattle are up $0.25 at $133.72.

The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction listed a total of 7,773 head; of that, 1,085 sold; 181 were scratched from the auction; and 6,507 head were listed as unsold, as they did not meet reserve prices which ranged from $119 to $123. Opening prices ranged from $115 to $118, high bids ranged from $116 to $120.

The state-by-state breakdown looks like this: Texas 7,463 total head, with 1,085 head sold at $119 to $120, 6,197 head unsold and 181 scratched from the auction; Kansas 310 total head, all of which went unsold.

Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $2.72 ($272.45) and select up $1.57 ($255.51) with a movement of 93 loads (49.06 loads of choice, 18.61 loads select, 11.97 loads of trim and 13.10 loads of ground beef).


The feeder cattle and corn markets have quarreled Wednesday morning as both aspire to trade higher. Breaking into Wednesday’s trade, the corn market held the advantage as the feeder cattle contracts were leery upon corn’s advancement and upon not having seen any developments being made in the cash cattle market.

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Thankfully Wednesday’s midday report showed boxed beef prices were higher once again and cattle are starting to sell in Nebraska for $123. Both these factors gave feeders the confidence they needed to move the market higher and begin to creep toward the resistance at $162.00. August feeders are up $0.10 at $160.80, September feeders are up $0.07 at $164.07 and October feeders are up $0.05 at $166.00.


Lean hog futures may have petered out but there’s still traction being made in the market fundamentals. It’s impressive to see packers have already bought upward of 6,000 hogs; with supplies being short they wouldn’t be aggressively chasing the cash hog market if they thought the pork cutout value was going to wane lower.

August lean hogs are down $0.57 at $106.90, October lean hogs are down $1.77 at $90.75 and December lean hogs are down $1.37 at $83.47.

The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 7/26/2021 is down $0.17 at $112.05 and the actual index for 7/23/2021 is up $0.01 at $112.22. Hog prices are unchanged from Tuesday on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, thus far there’s been 6,386 head bought with a weighted average of $103.93, ranging anywhere from $101.00 to $108.00 and a five-day rolling average of $103.96.

Pork cutouts total 167.32 loads with 153.17 loads of pork cuts and 14.16 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $1.69, $125.18.

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