DTN Livestock Midday: Live Cattle Trend Higher With News of a Spring Storm

    ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

    The live cattle contracts are rallying into Monday afternoon as the market sits waiting to see how this week’s storm develops.


    Heading into Monday afternoon, the live cattle complex is rallying as the cattle market always loves a snowstorm. But the feeder cattle and lean hog contracts aren’t as lively about Monday’s arrival. Higher grain prices are keeping the feeder cattle contracts at bay and the lean hog market wants to see more support before it fully breaks out of its sideways trend.

    May corn is down 2 3/4 cents per bushel and May soybean meal is down $9.50. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 208.82 points.


    While cattle may not like the artic blasts of a snowstorm, the cattle market has a history of trading stronger amid winter storms and Monday’s market is largely following in that trend. April live cattle are up $0.12 at $137.95, June live cattle are up $0.25 at $134.07 and August live cattle are steady at $135.85. This week’s storm is going to traipse along the northern edge of the U.S. but some feedlots will be in its path.

    Transporting cattle will be difficult if the storm produces as much snow as expected, and packers could begin to grumble about cattle carrying tags. Feedlots are anticipated to price cattle higher this week and they know their window of opportunity to do so is growing thinner and thinner as May is quickly approaching. New showlists appear to be mixed to higher in Texas and Kansas, but lower in Nebraska and Colorado.

    Last week’s negotiated cash cattle trade totaled 96,940 head. Of that, 74% (71,756 head) were committed for nearby delivery, while the remaining 26% (24,884 head) were committed for deferred delivery.

    Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $0.43 ($270.90) and select up $1.02 ($261.35) with a movement of 36 loads (17.05 loads of choice, 7.98 loads of select, 8.20 loads of trim and 2.55 loads of ground beef).


    The feeder cattle contracts are plunging lower as the market watches the grain complex trade stronger and wonders how this week’s snowstorm could affect cattle sales and transportation.

    Cattlemen know this week’s storm could be a doozy for northern Wyoming, most of Montana, North Dakota, the northern part of South Dakota and northern Minnesota. North Dakota is expected to get the biggest blast with 12 to 24 inches of snow with the other areas mentioned getting closer to 6 to 12 inches of snow. The snow should start Tuesday morning and carry through Thursday and will be accompanied by strong wind gusts of 35 to 50 mph winds.

    Cattlemen are willing to put up with a nasty storm to get some moisture, but for those who are calving, this week could be a bear to wrestle with. April feeders are down $1.32 at $155.22, May feeders are down $1.02 at $158.35 and August feeders are down $1.42 at $172.12.


    The lean hog market started Monday out timid and largely kept with its sideways chop. But as the day has rolled on, support from the morning’s pork cutouts is helping move prices above steady. June lean hogs are up $0.07 at $ 114.62, July lean hogs are up $0.27 at $116.17 and August lean hogs are up $0.50 at $115.30. With Lent phasing out this Thursday, there could be more buying in the pork sector late this week. Most likely retailers have already bought their Easter needs, but with more consumers looking to buy later this week, prices could see a bump from stronger demand.

    The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 4/7/2022 is down $0.62 at $100.06 and the actual index for 4/6/2022 is down $0.40 at $100.68. Hog prices are lower on the Daily Direct Hog Report, down $0.50 with a weighted average of $96.03, ranging from $96.00 to $100.00 on 3,541 head and a five-day rolling average of $99.46. Pork cutouts total 142.83 loads wit 122.32 loads of pork cuts and 20.51 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $8.59, $111.75.

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