DTN Livestock Midday: Anxiously Waiting for Cattle on Feed Report

    Cattle feeding. Photo: ©Debra L Ferguson

    Hogs are striding out and taking on Friday’s market full charge, while the cattle contracts wait anxiously for the Cattle on Feed data.


    Heading into Friday afternoon, the livestock complex is running a million different directions. The lean hog futures leaped higher amid short supplies and strong consumer demand. The feeder cattle contracts are trading lower as grains add pressure. And the live cattle market is patiently waiting to see what today’s Cattle on Feed Report shows.

    May corn is up 4 1/4 cents per bushel and May soybean meal is up $0.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 9.79 points and NASDAQ is down 117.07 points.


    Live cattle futures are trading split into Friday afternoon as the nearby contracts are higher, but the deferred contracts are trending lower. The live cattle complex is caught in a hard spot as the market is anxiously waiting to see the Cattle on Feed data and wanted to see the cash market trade stronger than it did this past week.

    The cash market hasn’t seen very many cattle trade this week and prices are called fully steady with last week’s market. Feedlots have yet to see a bid be renewed thus far Friday, and it’s looking like the bulk of this week’s business is done.

    Asking prices for cattle left on showlists are around $140 in the South and $223 in the North. April live cattle are up $0.62 at $140.30, June live cattle are up $0.27 at $137.22 and August live cattle are up $0.15 at $137.85. Today’s Cattle on Feed report will be released at 2 p.m. CST.

    Southern live deals this week have been marked at mostly $138, fully steady with last week’s weighted averages. Northern dressed trade has been marked at mostly $221, steady/weak with last week’s weighted average basis Nebraska. The majority of the dressed business is set for delivery the week of April 4.

    Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $0.32 ($262.09) and select down $1.55 ($251.04) with a movement of 50 loads (36.54 loads of choice, 5.01 loads of select, zero loads of trim and 8.61 loads of ground beef).


    The poor feeder cattle contracts are again faced with higher grain prices, which means feeders are headed lower into Friday afternoon trade. The pressure from higher grain prices is enough to send the contracts lower but mixed with the unknown of today’s Cattle on Feed report and it’s February placement data, the market has a lot to juggle. April feeders are down $0.67 at $162.05, May feeders are down $0.37 at $166.12 and August feeders are down $0.67 at $178.92.


    Thursday’s rest was exactly what the lean hog complex needed as the market has launched to new highs Friday morning and is seeing robust interest from packers who got caught short bought on a Friday, and from a very supportive morning pork cutout value.

    Watching the lean hog complex has been nothing short of amazing here as of late and comes to show how dynamic the market can become when supplies are tight (TIGHT), and consumers are hungry. April lean hogs are up $3.00 at $105.77, June lean hogs are up $3.45 at $117.50 and July lean hogs are up $3.07 at $124.95.

    The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 3/24/2022 is up $0.75 at $102.25, and the actual index for 3/23/2022 is up $0.29 at $101.50. Hog prices are higher on the Daily Direct Hog Report, up $5.09 with a weighted average of $110.28, ranging from $100.00 to $112.00 on 1,397 head and a five-day rolling average of $104.43. Pork cutouts total 172.60 loads with 142.56 loads of pork cuts and 30.05 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $8.31, $116.32.

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