The livestock complex was higher Thursday with the exception of January feeder cattle. Active cash trading as much as $3.00 higher provided the catalyst for higher futures. Hogs were the recipients of a large increase of cutouts values as well a supportive export sales report.
Cattle: Higher Futures: Higher Live Equiv: $203.41 +$0.61*
Hogs: Steady Futures: Higher Lean Equiv: $94.90 +$5.72**
*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
Cattle traders seemed to be in a wait-and-see mode until the anticipation of higher cash was realized and that is what took place Thursday. Instead of $1.00 to $2.00 higher cash as many had expected, packers paid upwards of $3.00 higher for both live and dressed cattle. As long as packers continue to run a brisk slaughter pace, feedlots will be in the driver’s seat.
Support also stemmed from higher boxed beef after a few days of lower prices. Choice increased $1.80 with select up $0.28. Cash business will continue Friday, but prices will be at levels already seen. Weekly export sales were neutral Thursday at 21,600 metric tons (mt).