DTN Livestock Midday: Cash Cattle Market Knocks on $140’s Door

    ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

    Traders may be used to checking out of the markets early to get to the holiday festivities, but with how lively the cash cattle market is, most will be keeping close tabs on this week’s trade.


    It’s been an invigorating day for the cash cattle markets as feedlots continue to push the cash cattle market higher. The cash cattle market’s rally has sparked the futures complex into trading higher as well and most of the 2022 live cattle contracts are trading at new highs.

    December corn is down 1 1/2 cents per bushel and January soybean meal is down $5.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 87.24 points and NASDAQ is down 9.41 points.


    If this live cattle market doesn’t give you something to be thankful for, I don’t know what will! Whether you want to talk about the new contract highs that are being seen throughout a large portion of the 2022 live cattle contracts or the bold rally that’s ignited the cash cattle market again this week, the live cattle market is a bull market.

    December live cattle are up $1.37 at $136.77, February live cattle are up $1.00 at $140.42 and April live cattle are up $0.67 at $143.47. With the market now flirting with the notion of trading cattle near $140 this week, in a matter of a few simple weeks, this rallying cash cattle market has made $130 look like child’s play.

    Bids of $138 have popped up in the Southern plains, and there has been renewed interest in Nebraska where asking prices range from $138 to $140 live and $219 to $220 dressed. There has been a small handful of cattle traded in the North for $138, but feedlots seem set on getting closer to that $140 mark this week.

    Traders may be tempted to clock out early but that won’t be the case in this week’s cash cattle market, as the battle between packers and feedlots is ongoing again this week.

    Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $0.67 ($279.31) and select up $1.29 ($263.96) with a movement of 68 loads (43.27 loads of choice, 16.41 loads of select, zero loads of trim and 8.12 loads of ground beef).


    The feeder cattle market isn’t wasting any time hemming and hawing around the market, wondering if a rally is a good idea or not. Rather, the market continues to rally as the good news of continued support, and a continued rally throughout the live cattle market and cash cattle trade, has sparked a fire in the feeder cattle contracts.

    January feeders are up $1.70 at $166.07, March feeders are up $1.22 at $166.90 and April feeders are up $1.02 at $169.05. As feedlots have been able to push the cash cattle market higher over the last month, cow-calf producers are seeing more demand for their calves as buyers are eager to restock their pens as this rally is expected to carry into the 2022 marketplace.

    For the most part, the feeder cattle market will be quiet throughout the countryside for the rest of the week as sale barns will be taking time off to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday as well.


    It’s a mixed day for the lean hog market as the market’s fundamentals are successfully noting a stronger cash market and a higher midday pork cutout value. Meanwhile, the futures market has flopped its position (now trading higher in its nearby contracts and pulling away from the deferred market), which isn’t uncommon to see given that it’s a holiday week and the markets can endure some volatile swings during the holidays.

    December lean hogs are up $0.92 at $75.07, February lean hogs are up $0.52 at $83.77 and April lean hogs are down $0.25 at $87.70. The market will likely continue to chop sideways before the day’s close and look for renewed direct come next.

    The projected lean hog index for Nov. 22 is up $0.27 at $73.15 and the actual index for Nov. 19 is down $0.58 at $72.88. Hog prices are higher on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.26 with a weighted average of $55.05, ranging from $53.00 to $58.00 on 7,469 head and a five-day rolling average of $54.97. Pork cutouts total 235.82 loads with 211.87 loads of pork cuts and 23.95 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $0.59, $85.51.

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