DTN Livestock Midday: Uniform Market Pressure Developing

    ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

    Livestock future values eroded during morning trade Tuesday with narrow losses in most live cattle and feeder cattle contracts. Lean hog futures are posting more noticeable price pullbacks as traders adjust positions following aggressive gains over the past two days. Trade is expected to remain sluggish through the end of the day.


    Trade is generally sluggish Tuesday with narrow losses redeveloping in live cattle and feeder cattle futures. The most aggressive losses are in lean hog futures but given the $2 to $3 per cwt rally over the past two sessions, there is very limited concern that these market reductions are anything more than position adjustments.

    December corn is down 2 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is up $4.80 per ton. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 156 points with Nasdaq up 103 points.


    Live cattle futures posted narrow losses in most contracts early Tuesday with prices from 27 cents lower to 5 cents higher. At this point, the only contract posting a gain is February. The lack of activity in the rest of the market is leaving it generally stable. Growing market stability in beef values and the hopes that cash cattle prices will be no worse than steady by the end of the week are expected to limit downside pressure in the complex.

    Cash cattle markets are still quiet, which is typical for a Tuesday morning. A few asking prices in the South are seen at $126 and higher per cwt. This again is expected as feeders look at this week to help direct the cash cattle market higher, hopefully setting the trend for the rest of the year. Asking prices in the North are still undeveloped as are bids in all areas.

    It is likely to be Wednesday or later before measurable trade develops. Tuesday morning’s boxed beef prices are higher in light trade, with choice cuts $0.72 higher at $280.81 and selects up $0.1.82 at $261.63 on a total count of 66 loads. Dow Jones estimated Tuesday’s cattle slaughter at 121,000 — 1,000 less than a week ago and 1,000 more than year ago levels.


    Light follow-through pressure is developing in feeder cattle futures Tuesday morning. Nearby contracts are heavily influenced by Monday’s losses, although the underlying weakness in the complex may continue to add selling activity the rest of Tuesday. October futures are 55 cents per cwt lower, but still holding above the $155 per cwt price level.

    Although this level does not indicate significant technical support, a move below these prices could spark another round of moderate to active selling as traders seem somewhat hesitant concerning September placement levels and how this may spark additional volatility over the next week. The CME Feeder Index was priced at $153.90 for Oct. 15.


    Active pressure is seen in lean hog futures with triple-digit losses in all but May contracts. Although a move lower is disappointing, following such active gains as seen over the last two sessions, a Tuesday pullback of this nature is not totally unexpected. Prices remain above last week’s support levels and any price above these levels is expected to limit aggressive market liquidation in the near future.

    Cutouts are up $1.64 at $102.42 Tuesday morning on 239.30 loads. Negotiated hog prices are unavailable at this time due to packer submission issues. Dow Jones estimated Tuesday’s hog slaughter at 478,000 — 3,000 less than a week ago and 2,000 less than year ago levels. The CME Lean Hog Index is listed at $86.88 per cwt for Oct. 15.

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