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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          01/28 11:23

   Hog Futures Surge Higher                  

   The aggressive buying shift has moved from aggressive cattle futures buying 
on Tuesday to strong moves higher in the lean hog futures. This has left lean 
hog futures at or near limit high gains of $3 per cwt in several contracts at 

By Rick Kment
DTN Livestock Analyst


   Lean hog futures are holding aggressive gains with several contacts either 
at or near limit higher trade of $3 per cwt. The aggressive support is likely 
to draw additional interest back into the complex going into the end of the 
month. Cattle futures are trading mixed in moderate trading ranges. Corn prices 
are lower in light trade. March corn futures are 2 cents per bushel lower. 
Stock markets are higher in light trade. The Dow Jones is 60 points higher 
while Nasdaq is up 20 points.


   Live cattle futures trade remains mixed in a choppy market following 
limit-higher trade Tuesday. The lack of aggressive buyer interest in the market 
is not overly concerning and is creating needed consistency at the current 
price levels. With end of the month nearing at the end of the week, there could 
be some additional late-week position taking given the volatility seen over the 
last couple of weeks. Cash cattle activity remains relatively quiet with just a 
few bids starting to pop up in Nebraska at $249 per cwt. This could easily push 
activity into Friday. Asking prices are holding around $162 and higher in the 
South and $260 and higher in the North. Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, 
$0.46 higher (select) and up $0.33 per cwt (choice) with active movement of 132 
total loads reported (67 loads of choice cuts, 32 loads of select cuts, six 
loads of trimmings, 27 loads of ground beef).


   Buyer support continues to slowly develop through the morning as early mixed 
trade in the cattle complex has not been replaced by moderate support through 
the entire complex. There is uncertainty as to just how much additional buyer 
activity will develop through the end of the week. January futures contracts 
are on the last leg, as contracts expire Thursday, but the lack of a strong 
premium in front-month futures could help to bring some needed stability to the 


   Wednesday the lean hog futures market seems to have taken over for the 
cattle complex in posting aggressive buyer support through the complex. 
Although nearby contracts have been limited to gains below $2 per cwt, deferred 
futures are trading at or near limit higher price levels of $3 per cwt. This 
support could help to draw additional longer term support back into the 
complex. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. 
The weighted average price fell $0.63 per cwt to $66.59 per cwt with the range 
from $56.50 to $68.25 per cwt on 7,761 head reported sold. Cash prices are 
lower on the Iowa Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted 
average price fell $0.09 per cwt to $67.67 per cwt with the range from $56.50 
to $68.25 per cwt on 2,550 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report 
is reported 320 loads selling as prices falling $0.31 per cwt. Lean hog index 
for 1/26 is at $72.51 down 0.40, with a projected two-day index of $72.14 down 

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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