DTN Livestock Midday: Slower Trade Pace Noted

    Photo: Texas AgriLife Extension

    As the markets look for a concise direction, the livestock contracts are trading with a slower tone thus far Tuesday.

    GENERAL COMMENTS:

    Tuesday’s futures are trading at a slower pace as the live cattle contracts are looking to the cash market to set the tone for the week and the lean hog contracts aren’t seeing the same type of charge-ahead behavior from traders like they saw Monday. It’s likely the cash cattle market waits to trade until Wednesday or later as feedlots desperately want to see another $1.00 to $2.00 added this week.

    May corn is down 9 1/4 cents per bushel and May soybean meal is down $5.00. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 206.17 points and NASDAQ is up 203.47 points.

    LIVE CATTLE:

    It’s a slow morning for the live cattle complex as traders sit back and wait for the struggle between packers and feedlots to play out before they do much more with the contracts. Early asking prices in the South have been noted at $140 to $142; the North has yet to share where dressed cattle will be priced at.

    It’s unlikely any serious business develops Tuesday. Most of the market’s action will wait to develop until Wednesday or potentially even later as feedlots are set on moving this market higher. To their advantage, showlists favor their position and it helps that boxed beef prices are trending higher.

    Not to mention, it also helps that warm weather is helping spring kick off and before we know it consumers will be pulling out their grills and looking to partake in cookouts once again. April live cattle are down $0.02 at $140.02, June live cattle are down $0.22 at $136.12 and August live cattle are steady at $137.27. New showlists appear to be mixed, higher in Kansas, but lower in Texas and Nebraska/Colorado.

    Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $0.99 ($259.49) and select up $1.01 ($253.51) with a movement of 78 loads (55.17 loads of choice, 7.56 loads of select, 4.35 loads of trim and 11.28 loads of ground beef).

    FEEDER CATTLE:

    With nearby corn contracts trending lower, nearby wheat prices trading just below steady and soybean meal jumping on the lower trend too, the feeder cattle contracts are modestly higher. It’s going to be another week where you can flip a coin and if grain is trading higher, then it’s a pretty safe bet feeders are trading lower, and vice versa.

    The feeder cattle market would love nothing more than for sales in the countryside to be so strong and for the cash market to grab another $2.00 this week, which would help build a strong fundamental base for the complex to strand upon. But with the chaos in Ukraine continuing, fluctuations in feed prices continue to pressure the market more than anything.

    April feeders are up $0.02 at $161.22, May feeders are up $0.47 at $166.22 and August feeders are up $0.07 at $179.22.

    LEAN HOGS:

    After a wild day of trade Monday, the lean hog complex has grown quiet as and is fully lower Tuesday. Without seeing fundamental backing from a stronger close in pork cuts or the cash market, Tuesday’s futures contracts aren’t as confident in the market as they were on Monday. Morning cash prices are still lagging as packers are showing mixed interest, but midday pork cutout values are higher, which could carry into Tuesday afternoon prices.

    With that being said, the futures market is buying itself time before deciding whether higher prices were a smart move or not. The market will need to see strong support from the either pork cuts or the cash market to feel comfortable trading at the upper range of the market.

    If fundamental support isn’t found soon, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the market drift lower, which would signal resistance is still too strong to break. April lean hogs are down $0.42 at $100.20, June lean hogs are down $0.60 at $119.20 and July lean hogs are down $0.25 at $118.95.

    The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 3/21/2022 is down $0.03 at $101.77 and the actual index for 3/18/2022 is up $0.44 at $101.80. Hog prices are lower on the Daily Direct Hog Report, down $0.91 with a weighted average of $100.45, ranging from $98.00 to $110.00 on 3,545 head and a five-day rolling average of $102.01. Pork cutouts total 148.41 loads with 128.03 loads of pork cuts and 20.38 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $2.87, $104.48.

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