DTN Livestock Midday: Crickets in Quiet Trade

The cash cattle market has yet to see a bid renewed and it’s looking like this week’s trade is essentially done with.


The livestock complex is trading about as excitingly as it would on a day before a long three-day weekend. Traders are mostly absent from the market and packers haven’t even bothered to renew one single bid in the cash cattle market. At this point, it’s looking like Friday’s trade won’t amount to much other than a weaker close throughout the futures complex.

December corn is down 8 1/4 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is down $4.00. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 129.30 points and NASDAQ is down 92.36 points.


The live cattle complex isn’t having a grand-slam day by any measure, as packers continue to see the benefit in higher boxes, but consumers are still enduring high beef prices. August live cattle are down $0.32 at $122.17, October live cattle are down $0.80 at $127.35 and December live cattle are down $0.55 at $132.75. The countryside hasn’t seen a bit of interest develop following the trade that transpired Thursday afternoon.

The market still has plenty of cattle to trade but it seems as though packers have secured their immediate needs and are already checked out of the market and enjoying a long weekend. So far, this past week live cattle have traded anywhere from $116 to $123.50, but mostly at $120, which is $1.00 stronger than last week. Northern dressed cattle have traded from $195 to $201, mostly at $196, which is steady with last week’s trade. There could be some trade that develops Friday afternoon but it’s most likely that this week’s cash cattle trade is done with.

Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $3.60 ($278.82) and select up $1.59 ($258.41) with a movement of 64 loads (28.68 loads of choice, 16.57 loads of select, 12.95 loads of trim and 5.59 loads of ground beef).


One would naturally be inclined to thinking that because corn is trading $0.06 to $0.07 lower in its nearby contracts, the feeder cattle market would be having a heyday. But without an active presence from traders, the market has been left high and dry to drift lower into the weekend. August feeders are down $0.35 at $158.15, September feeders are down $0.35 at $161.60 and October feeders are down $0.25 at $163.95.


Just like the cattle contracts, the lean hog market has been left to trail lower into the weekend. August lean hogs are down $0.30 at $106.00, October lean hogs are down $1.52 at $87.45 and December lean hogs are down $1.32 at $81.07. With Thursday’s afternoon pork cutout values closing more than $1.00 lower, it will be interesting to see how Friday’s cutout closes as demand is still alive and well in the market, but supplies are being more readily available.

Even though it seems like an oxymoron, lower pork cutout prices could mean a weaker futures market, but they could also mean stronger exports as U.S. pork prices are still high compared to other nations.

The projected CME Lean Hog Index for July 29 is up $0.06 at $112.08 and the actual index for July 28 is up $0.08 at $112.02. Because hog prices weren’t available Thursday, due to confidentiality, there is no comparison to be made Friday morning in regard to day-over-day price trends. We do, however, know that there have been 2,360 head sell with a weighted average of $101.65, ranging from $100.00 to $105.00, and a five-day rolling average of $103.51.

Pork cutouts total 144.34 loads with 132.58 loads of pork cuts and 11.77 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $1.10, $124.97.

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