If the livestock contracts can champion a higher close Friday afternoon, the markets may be set up to start next week off on a positive note.
The livestock complex has had a successful morning, and largely the contracts are rallying into Friday afternoon. But there’s a blanket of caution that continues to hover over the market as processing speeds are not yet back to full capacity and remain a wild card, as no one knows when chain speeds will be back to full bore.
March corn is up 5 cents per bushel, and March soybean meal is down $4.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 270.17 points, and the NASDAQ is down 6.95 points.
It’s a slow, lackadaisical day for the live cattle market as participants look at the marketplace and see some positive trading building throughout the contracts and see boxed beef prices continuing to scale higher and higher. But, ultimately, the market knows that it’s upside is limited until processing speeds reach normal levels. February live cattle are up $1.30 at $138.30, April live cattle are up $1.12 at $142.10 and June live cattle are up $0.72 at $137.57.
The cash cattle market hasn’t seen any renewed interest, and while some sparse clean-up trade could develop, the market is essentially done trading. Throughout the week, Southern business has had a range of $134 to $137, mostly $136 to $137, steady to generally $2 lower than last week’s weighted averages. Northern dressed trade has been at mostly $218, $2 lower than last week’s weighted average basis Nebraska.
Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $1.92 ($284.78) and select up $0.48 ($273.24) with a movement of 49 loads (25.25 loads of choice, 8.18 loads of select, 8.86 loads of trim and 7.14 loads of ground beef).
The corn market is posting a modest rally Friday morning, but upon its nose-dive throughout Thursday’s trade, the feeder cattle contracts feel like rallying into the weekend as the live cattle market is trading modestly higher as well. January feeders are up $0.07 at $163, March feeders are up $0.40 at $167.12 and April feeders are up $0.37 at $170.85.
Even though the market would love to see dynamic action in the cash cattle market, which could inevitably shoot the feeder cattle contracts higher as order buyers would become even more excited to jump into the market, the calves have seen tremendous interest this past week as buyers look at the deferred contracts of 2022 and can’t help but see optimism.
While the rest of the world continues to deal with the spread of African swine fever, Thailand found its first official case of AFS in a slaughterhouse on Jan. 11, according to the Professional Pig Community. The U.S. lean hog market is rallying aggressively, as it hopes that export markets will see some interest.
February lean hogs are up $2.87 at $80.72, April lean hogs are up $2.90 at $88.27 and June lean hogs are up $2.10 at $99.80. Following Thursday’s enormous spike in pork cutout prices, the morning’s pork cutout value is down, and it’s likely that the afternoon’s value is lower as well. But until processing plants are back to full capacity, volatile swings in meat prices are expected.
The projected lean hog index for 1/13/2022 is down $0.28 at $74.32, and the actual index for 1/12/2022 is up $0.46 at $74.60. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $3.21 with a weighted average of $62.07, ranging from $62 to $65.75 on 3,090 head and a five-day rolling average of $64.61. Pork cutouts total 238.60 loads with 219.07 loads of pork cuts and 19.53 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $4.13, $91.15.