The biggest surprise in the Oct. 1 USDA Cattle on Feed report was lower-than-expected cattle placements in September. Total placements are 97% of year-ago levels, not only well below the 101.4% expected, but well below the entire estimated range. Markets leading up to the report posted significant weakness, creating potential market swings next week.
From Friday to Friday, livestock futures scored the following changes: Oct live cattle off $1.87, Dec live cattle off $2.65, Oct feeder cattle off $2.15, Nov feeder cattle off $4.53, Dec lean hogs off $4.95 and Feb lean hogs off $4.70. Sharp losses in cattle futures developed as traders tried to prepare for the afternoon Cattle on Feed report.
Triple-digit losses were seen in both live cattle and feeder cattle markets, with the most significant pressure in deferred feeder cattle trade.
Hog futures were unevenly mixed as traders tried to stabilize the market following earlier-week losses. On-feed numbers were fractionally below estimated levels, although the major shift was seen in lower-than-expected cattle placement numbers. This is likely to spark early week support in all cattle trade Monday morning.
Hog prices moved higher on the National Direct Afternoon Hog Report in moderate trade, adding $0.20 with a weighted average of $65.63 on 6,607 head.
December corn is up 5 3/4 cents per bushel, and December soybean meal is up $3.40 per ton. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 73 points, and the NASDAQ is down 125 points.