DTN Livestock Midday: Contracts Head Lower

    Photo: Kay Ledbetter, Texas AgriLife Extension

    Heading into Friday afternoon, the livestock complex is trudging through an uneventful day as the market can’t seem to muster support from any angle.

    GENERAL COMMENTS:

    It’s a slow, quiet day for the livestock complex as the contracts trade mostly lower and the market lacks technical interest from traders or lively support from the fundamental side. It’s unlikely processing speeds yield higher rates Friday afternoon, but all eyes will be watching to see where the market’s estimates come in for the day.

    March corn is up 1 cent per bushel and March soybean meal is up $14.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 55.43 points and NASDAQ is down 107.65 points.

    LIVE CATTLE:

    The live cattle complex is on edge without knowing exactly what the market’s in for with lagging processing speeds. All through the week, processing speeds have teetered from 113,000 head to 117,000 head; usually daily processing rates are up closer to 120,000 head per day. Friday’s slaughter is expected to come in around 114,000 head; so, again, not showing any improvement, which bodes negatively for the marketplace.

    Live cattle futures are feeling the pressures of the market’s concern regarding processing speeds and saw the market’s steady to $1.00 lower cash cattle trade as weakness as well. February live cattle are down $0.52 at $136.82, April live cattle are down $0.82 at $141.62 and June live cattle are down $0.32 at $137.25.

    It’s looking like the bulk of this week’s cash cattle trade is done with, though a few odds and ends, clean-up sales could develop before Friday’s close.

    Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $2.75 ($271.31) and select up $2.01 ($262.65) with a movement of 73 loads (48.03 loads of choice, 5.02 loads of select, 9.21 loads of trim and 10.75 loads of ground beef).

    FEEDER CATTLE:

    With traders unwilling to pay the complex much attention, the feeder cattle contracts have been left to trade lower as they look to the live cattle futures and find no support. Even though feeders have held strong throughout sale barns this week, the pressures of a gloomy board and a skeptical live cattle market ultimately sends the contracts lower.

    January feeders are down $0.55 at $162.02, March feeders are down $0.82 at $166.45 and April feeders are down $0.65 at $170.42. Corn futures are trading split through Friday’s market, lower in the nearby contracts, but higher in the deferred. Heading into next week’s trade, the market will be closely monitoring any developments on the corn market’s front.

    LEAN HOGS:

    It’s a gloomy day for the livestock complex, especially for the lean hog market, as the complex was hoping to have another day of ample support but come Friday’s opening bell, the market was left empty like an old ghost town. February lean hogs are down $2.85 at $80.10, April lean hogs are down $1.35 at $87.92 and June lean hogs are down $0.57 at $99.52.

    Packers had wildly supported the cash market earlier in the week, and there’s a thin chance they come and support the cash market Friday afternoon. But by and large, it’s unlikely they pay the market much more attention.

    With there not even being enough cash hog trade for USDA to be able to report prices, and midday cutout values signaling a likely weaker close for the afternoon, Friday’s hog contracts will likely round out the day lower as traders and packers alike ghost the market.

    The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 1/6/2022 is up $0.16 at $73.73 and the actual index for 1/5/2022 is down $0.30 at $73.57. Hog prices are not available due to confidentiality. What we do know however is that only 203 head have sold and the five-day moving average has moved to $64.88. Pork cutouts total 231.12 loads with 203.44 loads of pork cuts and 27.68 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $5.09, $84.47.

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