DTN Midday Livestock Comments 01/22 11:55
Another Day for Lean Hog Contracts
Cattle contracts are holding idle trading lower while the lean hog contracts
are looking positively for higher trade.
By ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst
Lean hog contracts are taking advantage of the opportunity to trade slightly
higher while cattle contracts are falling lower and not gaining any market
interest. March corn is steady and March soybean meal is steady. The Dow Jones
Industrial Average is down 21.29 points and NASDAQ is up 34.12 points.
Another day passes and the cattle contracts sit quietly lower. Caught in a
steady holding pattern between $125 and $127.50, contracts keep trading in
between both planes with no current support from the cash market to push prices
out of the common ground. February live cattle are down $0.07 at $126.30, April
live cattle are down $0.22 at $127.00 and June live cattle are down $0.40 at
$118.77. Cash market action is yet to develop, and it wouldn't be surprising if
trade waited until sometime Friday to get with business. Asking prices in the
South are at $126 to $127, and in the North at $202-plus.
The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction today listed a total of 561 head total,
consisting of four lots (two lots in Nebraska, one lot each in Texas and
Kansas), all set for 1-9-day delivery. Asking prices were at $124, only one lot
sold in Kansas at $124.
Boxed beef cutouts are mixed: choice up $0.67 ($215.18) and select down
$0.51 ($212.96) with a movement of 90 loads (58.41 loads of choice, 10.47 loads
of select, 3.98 loads of trim and 17.07 loads of ground beef).
Wednesday continues to bleed the feeder cattle market lower, with some
nearby contracts dipping below $1.00 losses. January feeder cattle are down
$0.75 at $144.32, March feeders are down $1.02 at $143.65 and April feeders are
down $1.02 at $146.52. Without there being a clear direct for the live cattle
market it's hard for the feeder cattle market to find solid ground. Interest on
the board remains relatively minimal but sale barns continue to sell calves for
higher prices and there's an exceptional market right now for lighter-weight
calves that will make grass calves come spring.
The lean hog complex is having another day of incremental gains through both
the nearby and deferred contracts. February lean hogs are up $0.25 at $67.60,
April lean hogs are up $0.60 at $74.42 and May lean hogs are up $0.45 at
$80.80. It's helping the lean hog side of the market that the cattle contracts
and cash cattle market is sitting steady so attention can focus on lean hog
The projected lean hog index for 1/21/2020 is up $0.84 at $61.02 and the
actual for 1/20/2020 is up $0.04 at $60.18. Hog prices are lower on the
National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.01 with a weighted average of
$51.67, ranging from $48.00 to $52.50 on 8,315 head sold and a five-day rolling
average of $51.67. Pork cutouts total 144.96 loads with 131.53 loads of pork
cuts and 13.43 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $1.39, $79.58.
ShayLe Stewart can be reached email@example.com
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