DTN Livestock Open: Export Sales May Provide Direction

    ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

    Live cattle closed higher but left the market in the range it has been trading in over the past week. Weakening boxed beef has traders concerned about market potential. Hog futures have been stretched with December not able to hold the strong gains of Tuesday. Cash remains weak.

    Cattle: Higher Futures: Higher Live Equiv: $209.96 -$2.56*
    Hogs: Lower Futures: Mixed Lean Equiv: $91.40 -$3.25**
    *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:

    The cattle complex closed higher but gains were moderate even though it is nearing the end of the week with much anticipation of cash trading higher. There was some very limited cash trade Wednesday around steady money with last week, but the volume was not sufficient to provide a good idea of where cash will be this week. Traders are trying to determine the resolve of packers to hold the line. They purchased a lot of cattle last week with next week running reduced numbers due to the holiday.

    On top of that, there is a Cattle on Feed report to look forward to on Friday. Boxed beef has been weakening with choice down $3.66 and select down $2.53 Wednesday. Feedlots believe packers will need cattle as they have not forward contracted very heavily and demand remains strong. The estimate for placements in the Cattle on Feed report is 102.2% of a year ago. Marketings are estimated at 96.3% with on-feed numbers 99.8% of a year ago.

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