DTN Midday Livestock Comments 05/26 11:45
Firm Gains Develop Through Cattle Trade at Midday
Strong midday buyer support quickly offset early pressure in the cattle
complex. The lack of trade volume in the complex has allowed for prices to
swing quickly and in a wide range Thursday morning. Lean hog futures posted
firm gains, holding strong gain in nearby contracts.
By Rick Kment
Moderate to strong gains have developed across the livestock complex at
midday following a choppy and somewhat volatile morning led by lightly traded
cattle markets. The lack of trade volume has led to wide price swings in either
direction in both live cattle and feeder cattle markets, accounting for some
uncertainty through the rest of the week. Corn prices are higher. July corn
futures are 3 cents higher. Stock markets are lower in light trade. The Dow
Jones is 38 points lower while Nasdaq is down 2 points.
Firm support is seen in August and October live cattle futures at midday,
otherwise the complex remains stuck in a narrow trading range at midday. The
live cattle market has continued to waver in a wide price range through the
morning with very little market activity expected to be seen through the end of
the session as volume remains light. Cash cattle activity is starting to
develop with light trade starting to pick up with sales in the South at $125
and $197 to $198 in the North. This is improved over the Northern dressed bids
yesterday, and may be able to spark additional strong interest at this level.
It may not be enough to finish out the week. But the desire of both sides would
be to finish active trade before the end of the week. Asking prices are holding
around $128 and higher in the South and $200 and higher in the North. Beef
cut-outs at midday are mixed $0.98 lower (select) and up $0.51 per cwt (choice)
with light movement of 61 total loads reported (27 loads of choice cuts, 23
loads of select cuts, 4 loads of trimmings, 6 loads of ground beef).
Wide price swings have been seen through the feeder cattle futures as light
trade volume continues to hover through the market. The ability to bring buyers
back into the market following the early triple-digit losses seen during
morning trade has created some follow through momentum that could be carried
into the holiday weekend. Trade volume is still expected to remain light, as
traders remain cautious with the expectations that overall cattle numbers
remain strong compared to year-ago levels and are not expected to ease any time
Strong gains have quickly developed through the lean hog futures market,
pushing nearby contacts back above the $80-per-cwt price level. This has given
the entire complex a sense of momentum as traders remain focused on additional
buyer interest and additional interest over the market. Cash prices are lower
on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell
$1.13 per cwt to $72.31 per cwt with the range from $64.00 to $73.50 per cwt on
2,790 head reported sold. Cash prices are unreported due to confidentiality on
the Iowa Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The National Pork Plant
Report reported 126 loads selling with prices down $2.06 per cwt. Lean hog
index for 5/23 is at $78.96, up 0.03 with a projected two-day index of $78.87,
Rick Kment can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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