DTN Livestock Midday: Futures Prices Lean Higher Into Afternoon

    ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

    With grain prices veering lower throughout Wednesday, the livestock contracts are taking the opportunity to rally.

    GENERAL COMMENTS:

    Livestock futures prices are trending higher into Wednesday afternoon as the contracts find supportive pork cutout values and eased pressure from grain prices.

    May corn is down 7 1/2 cents per bushel and May soybean meal is down $5.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 250.21 points and NASDAQ is down 334.28 points.

    LIVE CATTLE:

    After a tough couple sessions of trade, the live cattle complex is trending higher Wednesday. Helping ease some stress are grain prices which are trending lower thus far. Unfortunately, the live cattle market’s uptick in prices comes after the cash cattle market’s trend has been set for the week.

    April live cattle are up $0.67 at $137.47, June live cattle re up $0.95 at $134.27 and August live cattle are up $0.92 at $135.57. Just a few bids are on the table at midday following the last two days of light to moderate business. Asking prices for cattle left on showlists are around $139 to $140 in the South and $225-plus in the North.

    So far this week, Southern live trade has been marked at mostly $138, fully steady with last week’s weighted averages. Northern dressed deals have been marked at mostly $222, roughly steady with last week’s weighted average basis Nebraska.

    The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction listed a total of 3,573 head, of which 299 actually sold, 150 head were scratched from the auction, and 2,783 head were listed as unsold as they did not meet reserve prices of: $138 to 144. Opening bids were $136 to $140, high bids ranged from $136 to $138.

    The state-by-state breakdown looks like this: Texas 1,292 total head, with 299 head sold at $138.00, 1,052 head went unsold, none were scratched from the auction; Iowa 1,766 total head, with none sold, 1,216 head went unsold, and 150 head were scratched from the auction; Nebraska 480 total head, of which none actually sold. California 35 total head, of which none actually sold.

    Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice up $0.10 ($271.63) and select down $1.78 ($261.12) with a movement of 93 loads (61.95 loads of choice, 17.38 loads of select, 3.26 loads of trim and 10.04 loads of ground beef).

    FEEDER CATTLE:

    With the grain sector traipsing lower into Wednesday afternoon, the feeder cattle contracts are jumping on the opportunity to trade higher while the grain market dips momentarily. April feeders are down $0.05 at $156.07, May feeders are up $0.35 at $159.35 and August feeders are up $1.05 at $172.42.

    Despite the countryside being dry and despite corn prices being extremely high, both feeder cattle and calves are drawing the attention of any willing buyers as the fundamental fact that supplies will be tight in the months to come remains undeniably true.

    LEAN HOGS:

    With some support in early pork cutout values and decreased pressure in grain prices, the lean hog contracts are trending higher into Wednesday afternoon. April lean hogs are up $0.57 at $98.25, June lean hogs are steady at $114.35 and July lean hogs are up $0.12 at $115.10. If pork cutout values round out the day higher, then Thursday’s market may be able to offset a likely uneventful pork export report with strong consumer support.

    The projected CME Lean Hog Index is delayed again. Hog prices are lower on the Daily Direct Morning Hog Report, down $1.58 with a weighted average of $99.38 ranging from $97.00 to $104.00 on 5,671 head and a five-day rolling average of $100.41. Pork cutouts total 194.61 loads with 176.67 loads of pork cuts and 17.95 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $3.02, $106.62.

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