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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Thursday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Lean Hog Futures Retreat From Technical Resistance

GENERAL COMMENTS
Generally speaking, feedlot country remained at a standstill for most of the day with bids and asking prices separated by a country mile (e.g., $108-$110 vs. $115, basis the South). We are picking up some late business with $110 paid in the South (steady/firm with last week's weighted average) and $110-$111 paid in parts of Nebraska (steady to $1 higher). According to the closing report, the national hog base is $1.88 higher ($60-$70, weighted average $68.77). Corn futures settled fractionally higher at the conclusion of a quiet trading session. The stock closed significantly lower as trade war talk re-fired. The Dow slumped 251 points lower with the Nasdaq off 20.
LIVE CATTLE
Despite limit advances in spot June and August on Wednesday, traders could muster precious little follow-through in the opening rounds. Profit-taking and beef demand quickly surfaced to strip away a good part of the midweek surge. When the dust settled, live contracts closed 30 to 107 lower with spot June holding up better than deferreds. Beef cut-outs: mixed, up $0.09 (select: $204.47) to off $0.48 (choice: $228.20) with light-to-moderate demand and moderate-to-heavy offerings (80 loads of choice cuts, 42 loads of select cuts, 16 loads of trimmings, 16 loads of ground beef).
FRIDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL:
Steady to $2 higher. Look for the cash cattle trade to turn moderate to fairly active Friday as well-margined packers aggressively shop for early June slaughter needs.
FEEDER CATTLE:
Feeder issues declined by 22 to 115 with new spot August catching most of the corrective selling. Given the fact that August has taken the point nearly $13 above the spot cash index, the board could prove to be especially vulnerable to any bearish news that rolls down the summer pike. 05/30: $134.82, off $0.04.
LEAN HOGS:
Summer bulls tried early in the session to extend the midweek rally, but technical-selling energy soon resurfaced. June through August were repelled by resistance near 100-day moving averages. The push-back in August was substantial enough for the late-summer issues to settle back below their 40-day moving averages. The board was further pressured by ideas that NAFTA talks were breaking down as both Canada and Mexico announced counter tariffs vis-a-vis the imposition by the U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada, and Mexico. The carcass value blasted more than $2 higher thanks to much better demand for hams, bellies, loins and picnics. Pork cut-out: $78.22, up $2.17. CME cash lean index for 05/29: $69.50, up $0.04 from 05/25 (DTN Projected lean index for 05/30: $69.63, up $0.13).
FRIDAY'S CASH HOG CALL:
$1-$2 higher. Late-week cash should have a definite sizzle thanks to both tightening receipts and improving product demand.

Thursday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Price Pressure Develops

GENERAL COMMENTS: 
Sharp early pressure in all livestock futures has quickly replaced recent market gains with concern that additional market weakness may flood into the complex. This could add even more uncertainty to the complex as traders have backed away from session lows, but the tone of the market still remains weak. Corn prices are higher in light trade. July corn futures are 3/4 cent higher. Stock markets are mixed in light trade. The Dow Jones is 209 points lower while Nasdaq is up 2 points.
LIVE CATTLE:
Sharp losses have quickly developed through the morning Thursday. Although live cattle futures have pulled away from session lows, the lack of support following strong gains midweek has allowed for increased market concern. Current prices are more than $1 per cwt higher than session lows as selling pressure seems to be focused on previous market movements. Traders are quickly trying to adjust market movements before the end of the month, which add even more volatility through the complex. Cash cattle remain quiet with a few scattered bids seen with bids of $108 per cwt seen on live basis in the North and South. Dressed bids are seen at $175 per cwt. Asking prices are holding at $115 and higher live and $182 to $184 per cwt dressed. It is likely that active trade will be pushed off until Friday sometime. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $0.02 higher (select) and down $0.07 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 94 total loads reported (46 loads of choice cuts, 27 loads of select cuts, 14 loads of trimmings, 7 loads of ground beef).
FEEDER CATTLE:
Strong pressure in live cattle trade has quickly eroded any sense of buyer support seen through the complex. There is a growing focus on potential increased price volatility in all livestock trade through the end of the month of May. Although early June trade activity is not expected to see much more stability, some traders seem intent on squaring market positions by the end of the day. This has left August and September contracts with a $1 to $1.65 per cwt loss, while the rest of the complex is hanging onto moderate pressure.
LEAN HOGS:
Sharp losses quickly developed in most livestock trade Thursday morning. The initial pressure seen in nearby lean hog trade and the live cattle futures complex quickly gained momentum and pushed more selling pressure into all markets. Most contracts are holding triple-digit losses with July markets leading the complex lower with a $2.65 per cwt loss. If prices hit and hold limit losses of $3 per cwt at the end of the month, this could significantly shift the overall market direction of the complex during early June. Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is up $1.25 at $68.14 per cwt with the range from $60.00 to $70.00 on 4,920 head reported sold. Cash prices are higher on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is up $1.48 at $69.08 per cwt with the range from $60.00 to $70.00 on 2,490 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report posted 154 loads selling with carcass values gaining $2.18 per cwt. Lean hog index for 5/29 is at $69.50 up 0.04 with a projected two-day index of $69.63, up 0.13.

Thursday Morning Livestock Market Update - Cattle Futures Supported on Opening by Bullish Momentum

GENERAL COMMENTS:
The cash cattle trade should start to take on better definition Thursday as short-bought and well-margined packers begin to kick tires more aggressively. Asking prices should be around $185 plus in the South and $115 plus in the South. If futures continue to work higher, feedlot resolve should naturally firm. In that case, significant trade volume could easily be postponed until sometime Friday. The cattle board will open Thursday with expanded limits of 450 points. Live and feeder futures could open substantially higher thanks to residual buying, technical considerations and cash premiums.
Hog buyers are expected to resume work Thursday with firm bids. While ready numbers have slowly tightened through May, the decline in chain speed next month should accelerate. Currently, Saturday's kill is estimated to total as much as 236,000 as processors move to make up for the week's slow start. Lean futures are staged to open moderately higher, supported by follow-through buying and optimism concerning seasonal fundamentals.
BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1)Live cattle futures exploded with a strong rebound on Wednesday, led by June and August increasing by the 300-point limit. This will allow for the limit to be expanded to $4.50 for Thursday's trading session.1)Although actively traded August live cattle is challenging technical highs set in early May, significant overhead resistance remains in the $106 to 106.50 area.
2)
Beef movement over the holiday weekend may have been better than originally thought. Cutouts closed solidly higher on Wednesday with box movement described as "moderate to fairly good."
2)Fed cattle chain speed is expected to remain aggressive throughout the week ahead with June kills in the upper 640,000s to the mid-650,000s.
3)The lean hog market structure is clearly positive with spot June trading nearly 800-points premium to the cash index. Furthermore, July and August contracts are premium to June, reflective of bullish expectations that cash will rally into the summer period.3)The index for June lean hogs as the contract moves into expiration month normally works a bit lower.
4)For the week ending May 26, Iowa barrows and gilts averaged 282.4 pounds, 1.5 pounds less than the prior year and 1.6 pounds more than 2017.4)The pork carcass value drifted lower at midweek as softer demand for fresh cuts overshadowed belly strength.

OTHER MARKET SENSITIVE NEWS: 
CATTLE: (Oklahoma Farm Report) -- "The Jan. 1, 2018, beef cow herd inventory of 31.723 million head was very close to the 2009 herd size of 31.794 million head a decade earlier. However, the industry has been through quite a bit since then and some short and long term changes are evident in the current situation among major beef cow states.
"For more than half of the last decade, the U.S. beef cow herd continued a nearly uninterrupted liquidation that began in 1996 and continued until 2014. The only exception was a short-lived expansion attempt in 2005-2006, that added a minimal 171 thousand head to the herd size before resuming liquidation in 2007. From 2009 to 2014, the U.S. beef cow herd dropped by 2.708 million head, with the final two million head the result of severe drought in the Southern Plains from 2011 through 2013. Overdue herd expansion began in 2014 with a total recovery of 2.638 million head by 2018. However, some interesting short and long run trends are evident among major beef cattle states in the last decade.
"Texas, the largest beef cow state, had a beef cow inventory of 5.17 million head at the beginning of the decade in 2009. By 2014, the Texas beef cow inventory was down 24.4 percent to 3.91 million head, the lowest state beef cow inventory since 1958. Since 2014, the Texas beef cow herd has added 675 thousand head, recovering 54 percent of the 1.26 million head decrease from 2009-2014. The current state inventory is 4.585 million head of beef cows. Texas has recovered proportionately less than any major beef cow state since the drought of 2011-2013.
"From year to year, Missouri and Oklahoma vie to be the number two beef cow state. On Jan. 1, 2018, Missouri had an inventory of 2.166 million head, slightly more than Oklahoma, at 2.131 million head. Over the past decade, Oklahoma ranks number 2 with a slightly higher average inventory of 1.938 million head, compared to 1.916 million head for Missouri. Both states suffered drought reduced inventories in 2010-2013; more pronounced in Oklahoma where the beef cow inventory dropped by 18 percent before recovering by 26 percent from 2013-2018. The 2018 Oklahoma beef cow inventory is at the highest level since 1983 while Missouri is currently at a level equal to the herd size in 2006.
"Nebraska is the number four beef cow state with a 2018 herd inventory of 1.910 million head; quite stable over the last decade. Number five South Dakota has shown recent growth in the beef cow herd with a 2018 inventory of 1.801 million head, well above the decade average of 1.656 million head. The current South Dakota beef cow herd is the largest since 2002.
"Kansas is the number six beef cow state with a current beef cow inventory of 1.501 million head, down year over year from 2017. The Kansas beef cow herd has been more variable over the last decade with a drought low of 1.328 million head in 2013. The decade average beef cow herd in Kansas is 1.465 million head. Number seven Montana has a 2018 beef cow inventory of 1.497 million head. Montana has maintained a very stable beef cow herd size, averaging 1.481 million over the last decade. Kentucky is the number eight beef cow state with a current beef cow inventory of 1.033 million head, very near the decade average of 1.029 million head.
"Florida ranked number nine over the past decade but recent decreases in the beef cow inventory have pushed Florida out of the top ten in 2018. The current Florida beef cow herd of 886,000 head is the smallest since 1964. North Dakota moved into the number nine spot in 2018 with a beef cow inventory of 984,500 head. This is the highest North Dakota beef cow inventory since 2002. Iowa ranks number ten in 2018, and has for the last decade among major beef cow states, with a current inventory of 970,000 head. Other states with a beef cow inventory over 900 thousand head include Arkansas (924,000) and Tennessee (910,000)."
HOGS:(Wisconsin State Farmer) -- In a typical year, the majority of U.S. pork exports to China occur within the first seven months, with peak exports occurring in April through June. But as everyone is aware, 2018 has been anything but typical on the trade front.
On April 2, U.S. pork, fruits, nuts, wine and ginseng found themselves on the receiving end of China's irritation about recently imposed U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs. The irritation came in the form of an additional 25 percent tariff on U.S. pork and an additional 10 percent tariff on the rest of the targeted agricultural products. While there have been ad hoc reports of declining sales and suspiciously thorough port inspections for the non-pork products on the list, complete data has been hard to come by. But for U.S. pork, the significant impact these tariffs are having on U.S. export volumes is more apparent because of mandatory export reporting. The data is clear -- U.S. pork exporters are squealing, but with dismay, not delight.
Very quickly, a reminder of a few relevant dates: March 1, U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports were announced; March 23, the new tariffs went into effect; April 2, China countered with tariffs aimed at more than 120 U.S. products.
Note that the volume of U.S exports of pork to China has varied considerably over the last three years. In 2016, the 362,000-plus metric tons of U.S. pork and pork products exported to China set new records. The next year, pork exports were down nearly 15 percent, yet China solidly remained the third-largest market for U.S. pork, as it has been since 2011. In 2017, China represented 13 percent of U.S. pork exports.
For those who follow trade with China, the next question that comes to mind is "what is happening in Hong Kong and Vietnam?"
When actions that impact trade between the U.S. and China, Hong Kong or Vietnam occur, we often observe an increase in trade between the U.S. and one or both of the other two markets.
In fact, because of the gray market that exists between China, Hong Kong and Vietnam, these three markets are often referred to as a single market. In 2017, nearly half a million pounds of U.S. pork and pork products, or 1 of every 5 pounds of exported U.S. pork was destined for China, Hong Kong and Vietnam.
However, 2018 combined weekly exports of U.S. pork to these three markets do not suggest any sizable diversion is occurring, at least not yet. So far, the additional 25 percent tariff China has applied to U.S. pork seems to be having the intended effect - a reduction in U.S. pork exports to China. Eliminating punitive tariffs and improving access to China by eliminating or reducing tariffs on frozen and chilled pork would result in an explosion of pork exports, contributing significantly to U.S. economic growth and reduction of the trade deficit."

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Wednesday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Live Cattle Futures Surge to Limit Gains

GENERAL COMMENTS
Cash cattle activity remains sluggish midweek with just a few token bids developing in the North on a dressed basis. Any bids seen through the day Wednesday are listed at $175 per cwt, which is well below asking prices of $184 to $185 per cwt. Bids are undeveloped in the South, although asking prices at this point are seen at $115 and higher. It is expected that with the limit gains seen Wednesday in futures trade, asking prices will increase significantly through the next couple of days. The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction Wednesday listed a total of 449 head, with 225 actually sold with a weighted average of $110.00, 224 head listed as unsold, and zero head listed as PO (Passed Offer). All cattle this week were from Kansas and are set for 1 to 9 day delivery. According to the closing report, the national hog base is $1.12 higher compared with the Prior Day settlement ($59.00 to $68.50) weighted average $66.80. The corn futures are lower in light activity. July futures were 6 1/2 cents lower Wednesday. The Dow Jones Index is 349 points higher with the Nasdaq up 75 points.
LIVE CATTLE
Strong buyer support in the last half of the trading session seemed to put a new perspective on the potential direction of the cattle complex ($1.42 to $3.00 higher). June and August futures surged higher late in the trading session with each contract closing higher with $3 per cwt gains. This will allow for expanded trading limits Thursday, although it is uncertain if the need for strong buyer support will exist following the breathing room given in the market overnight. However, the strong shift higher has pushed spot month June contracts to $106.12 per barrel with increased overall support likely to develop over the near future. Beef cut-outs: higher, $0.73 higher (select, $204.38) and up $1.12 (choice, $228.68) with light demand and offerings (78 loads of choice cuts, 47 loads of select cuts, five load of trimmings, 22 loads of coarse grinds).
THURSDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL:
Steady to $2 Higher. Cash market interest is still sluggish midweek and likely to be drawn late in the week. The sharp rally in futures trade should help to solidify bids, as they become more evident. However, active trade may not be seen until sometime Friday.
FEEDER CATTLE:
Sharp late day gains quickly moved through all feeder cattle futures following limit higher moves in live cattle ($2.82 to $3.57 higher). Sluggish market activity and narrow price shifts were seen early Wednesday. But following a strong surge in live cattle futures, buyers in the feeder cattle complex tried to keep up the pace. It wasn't until late in the trading session that prices moved above $3 per cwt as traders focused on the more aggressive buyer support that may continue to develop through the end of the week. CME cash feeder index for 5/29 is $134.86 down $0.18.
LEAN HOGS:
Strong buyer support moved through the complex with prices most aggressive in nearby trade (0.17 higher to $1.65 Higher). Aggressive moves seen in the cattle complex helped to bring even more market support to the complex. This is helping to draw even more interest into all contracts. June through August futures posted triple-digit gains, moving from $1.27 to $1.65 per cwt higher. July futures continues to lead the complex higher with prices at $80.12 per cwt. The overall support seen through the market midweek may spark additional underlying support through the end of the week. Pork prices trickled lower following mixed primal cut market shifts midweek. Pork cut-out: $76.05 down $0.29. CME cash lean index for 5/25 $69.46 up $0.02. DTN Projected lean index for 5/29 $69.50 down $0.04.
THURSDAY'S CASH HOG CALL:
Steady to $1 higher. Increased buyer support is expected to move into the complex through the next couple of days, as packer's access hogs for the increased Saturday runs. Due to the holiday schedule and strong futures trade, cash markets are expected to be scattered through the range, but the firm undertone is likely to hold. Thursday runs are expected to be seen near 460,000 head. Saturday runs are expected to hit 232,000 head.

Wednesday Midday Livestock Market Summary - August Live Cattle Futures Limit Higher

GENERAL COMMENTS: 
Limit gains in live cattle futures has sparked increased buyer activity in all livestock markets. There is expected to be some additional follow-through interest moving into the market through the end of the session. Corn prices are lower in light trade. July corn futures are 6 cents lower. Stock markets are higher in active trade. The Dow Jones is 277 points higher while Nasdaq is up 58 points.
LIVE CATTLE:
Buyer interest exploded through the complex as traders continue to actively step back into the market midweek. Although cash markets remain undeveloped, the strong shift higher in meat values is helping to spark some additional trade volume and push nearby contracts sharply higher. August futures have been locked in limit-higher trade over the last half hour, which could spark some additional buyer activity in most other nearby contracts if this buyer support holds. Cash cattle interest remains sluggish Wednesday morning. A few starter bids have been seen through parts of Nebraska with dressed prices of $175 per cwt. But the rest of the market remains silent. Asking prices are holding around $115 per cwt live and $184 and higher dressed. These asking prices are expected to firm following the strong moves in futures trade through the morning. The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction today listed a total of 449 head, with 225 actually sold with a weighted average of $110.00, 224 head listed as unsold, and zero head listed as PO (Passed Offer). All cattle this week were from Kansas and are set for 1-9 day delivery. Boxed beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $0.98 higher (select) and up $1.74 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 62 total loads reported (36 loads of choice cuts, 19 loads of select cuts, no loads of trimmings, 6 loads of ground beef).
FEEDER CATTLE:
Sharp gains have developed in nearby feeder cattle futures with all remaining 2018 contracts holding a $2 per rally. There is expected to be some additional buyer activity developing through the rest of the session as nearby live cattle futures have moved to limit higher gains. The support in feeder cattle futures seems to be driven by the recent moves in live cattle, which is contrary to recent market shifts.
LEAN HOGS:
Light buyer support is slowly but steadily moving into the lean hog complex Wednesday morning. This has pushed spot-month June futures to $76.72 per cwt after a $1.97 per cwt gain. The overall support in the rest of the market has remained much more subdued, but the overall higher price levels seen in all areas is helping to build market interest through the end of the month. Cash prices are unreported due to reporting delays on the National Direct morning cash hog report. Cash prices are unreported due to reporting delays on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The National Pork Plant Report posted 137 loads selling with carcass values falling $0.93 per cwt. Lean hog index for 5/25 is at $69.46 up 0.02 with a projected two-day index of $69.50, up 0.04.

Wednesday Morning Livestock Market Summary - Cattle Futures Staged for Defensive Opening

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Look for a few bids and asking prices to slowly surface in parts of cattle-feeding country Wednesday. Yet significant trade volume will probably be delayed until Thursday or Friday. Feedlot managers will be aggressively pumping the brakes, hoping they can somehow find a way to stabilize the stumbling cash trade. Given outstanding processing margins, packers wouldn't mind holding country bids near steady if they could depend on stabilized wholesale prices at the same time. Live and feeder contracts are likely to open moderately lower, checked by follow-through selling and uncertain late-spring/early-summer beef demand.
The cash hog market should reconvene Wednesday with steady/firm bids. It's a good bet that chain speed will steadily decline for the next four to six weeks. Our guess is that weekly slaughter totals could drop as low as 2.2 million by late June. Lean futures should open on a mixed basis thanks to a combination of residual thinking and pork demand uncertainty.
BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1)Though they may be slow to show it, cattle buyers have returned from Memorial Day with a bigger appetite and extraordinary margins. More specifically, packers need to fund the first full slaughter week of June.1)While the verdict on beef movement over the holiday weekend is not yet completely clear, the early reports are not exactly dazzling. Cutouts on Tuesday were no better than mixed with box supplies described as "moderate to heavy."
2)
Out-front boxed beef sales (i.e., with 22 days delivery or more) exploded last week, totaling 1,335 loads, the most aggressive round of sales since mid-April.
2)New showlists distributed in feedlot country look generally larger, with Nebraska and Kansas especially showing more ready steers and heifers.
3)The pork cutout closed moderately higher on Tuesday with better demand evident for picnics, ribs, hams and bellies.3)During the week ending May 22, noncommercial traders increased their net-short position in lean hog futures by 3,900 contracts, now net-short 18,600.
4)Summer lean hog futures surged with triple-digit gains Tuesday. Nearby bulls still have confidence in the seasonal potential of tightening market hog numbers and improving seasonal demand.4)Any hope that Commerce Secretary Ross, traveling to Beijing this week, could successfully convince the Chinese to drop tariffs on U.S. pork was pretty much wrecked Tuesday when the Trump administration announced it was moving ahead with steps to protect U.S. intellectual property by punishing China with broad investment restrictions, litigation at the World Trade Organization and hefty tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods.

OTHER MARKET SENSITIVE NEWS: 
CATTLE: (Nikkei Asian Review) -- Australia lifted a 17-year-old ban on Japanese beef imports Tuesday, Japan's agriculture ministry announced the same day.
The ban was imposed in September 2001 following an outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as "mad cow disease" in Japan. As Australians eat a lot of beef, the lifting of the ban promises to spur Japanese exports.
Tokyo has been pressing for a resumption of beef exports since 2004. Under the terms of the agreement, exports to Australia must be processed at facilities authorized by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. According to the agriculture ministry, Australians consume 20.9kg of beef per person annually, more than three times as much as Japanese.
At a news conference following a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Agriculture Minister Ken Saito said, "Australians have high income levels and there are high numbers of Japanese restaurants in urban areas. This is a good environment to receive Japanese beef." The government is considering ways to introduce Australian consumers to preparation methods and the unique characteristics of Japanese beef, he said.
HOGS: (National Pork Producers Council) -- The National Pork Producers Council on Tuesday called for a swift resolution of the United States-China trade dispute, paving the way for increased U.S. pork exports to the world's largest pork-consuming nation. According to Iowa State University Economist Dermot Hayes, U.S. pork producers have lost $2.2 billion on an annualized basis due to events leading up to and following China's 25 percent punitive tariffs in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on aluminum and steel.
"U.S. pork has invested significantly to ramp production to capitalize on growth opportunities around the world, including China and other markets throughout the Asia-Pacific region," said Jim Heimerl, a Johnstown, Ohio pig farmer and president of the National Pork Producers Council. "We applaud the administration for making the expansion of agriculture exports a cornerstone of the discussions with China. We hope the next round of trade talks with China results in improved market access to a critical export market for U.S. pork and other farm products."
"Since March 1, when speculation about Chinese retaliation against U.S. pork began, hog futures have dropped by $18 per animal, translating to a $2.2 billion loss on an annualized basis," said Iowa States' Hayes. "While not all of this lost value can be attributed to trade friction with China, it is certainly the main factor." The market disruption caused by export market uncertainty comes at a time when U.S. pork is expanding production to record levels. Five new pork processing plants have recently opened or will soon begin operations, increasing U.S. pork production capacity by approximately 10 percent from 2015 levels by next year. Exports accounted for more than $53 of the average $149 value of a hog last year and support over 110,000 U.S. jobs. The United States has, on average, been the top global supplier of pork over the last ten years.
"We produce the safest, highest-quality and most affordable pork in the world," Heimerl added. "We are dependent on exports and are one of the few sectors of the U.S. economy that can immediately reduce the trade imbalance with China, where pork represents approximately ten percent of the consumer price index.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Tuesday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Summer Hog Futures Roar Back From Holiday

GENERAL COMMENTS
Off to a holiday-delayed start, feedlot country restricted efforts to the distribution of new showlists. Ready numbers appear to be generally larger than last week, especially in Nebraska and Kansas. According to the closing report, the national hog base is $.51 higher ($58.00 to $67.00, weighted average $65.59). The corn market broke as much as 6 cents Tuesday, pressure by rain in the forecast for major growing areas this week and some commercial selling. The stock market closed lower with the Dow off 391 points and the Nasdaq down by 37.
LIVE CATTLE
With reports of weekend beef clearance coming in mixed at best, lean futures felt obligated to quickly surrender some of last week's rally. Also, lower dressed sales in feedlot country late Friday didn't help. Live contracts closed $52 to $152 lower with most of the selling interest focused on the front-end. Beef cut-outs: mixed, up $.13 (choice: $227.56) to off $.97 (select: $203.65) with light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings (48 loads of choice cuts, 39 loads of select cuts, 11 loads of trimmings, 10 loads of ground beef).
WEDNESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL:
Steady to $2 lower. Bids and asking prices could start to surface at midweek, but significant trade volume will probably be delayed until Thursday or Friday.
FEEDER CATTLE:
Feeder traders were torn between defensive action in the live market and lower action in the corn trade. Prices settled on a mixed basis, up $27 to off $40. 05/28: $135.04, up $.58.
LEAN HOGS:
Back from the holiday, hog bulls are apparently eager to once again try pushing summer lean contracts back through the upper 70s. Barring a big surprises, fundamentals should be consistently constructive from now through midsummer. Yet the cash index remains at a decent discount to the board. The board may prove high enough to accommodate even bullish supply and demand developments. Lean prices closed $50 to $147 higher with summer contracts leading the early week charge. The carcass value closed moderately higher, supported by better demand for processing items, ribs, and picnics. Pork cut-out: $76.34, up $.74. CME cash lean index for 05/25: $69.46, up $.02 (DTN Projected lean index for 05/28: NA).
WEDNESDAY'S CASH HOG CALL:
Steady to $1 higher. Cash hog buyers should resume work at midweek with a firm undertone, betting that post-holiday fundamentals will continue to improve.

Tuesday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Strong Losses Sweep Through Live Cattle Futures

GENERAL COMMENTS: 
Strong losses through cattle futures trade early Tuesday has shifted the market focus from market gains in most contracts to overall uncertainty through the entire complex. Triple-digit losses in live cattle futures has led the recent selling pressure in all livestock markets. Corn prices are lower in light trade. July corn futures are 8 cents lower. Stock markets are lower in active trade. The Dow Jones is 405 points lower while Nasdaq is down 44 points.
LIVE CATTLE:
Triple-digit losses have swept through live cattle trade at midday. This has quickly eroded any sense of market support seen through the complex as traders look for additional news, which may bring some stability to the market. Triple-digit losses are seen in all the remainder 2018 contract months. That is adding to underlying concerns in market fundamentals. Cash cattle activity remains quiet after an odd week of trade last week. The very limited activity seen in front of the holiday weekend would normally indicate that packers would be aggressive early in the week. But the lighter procurement numbers needed for the short week and amount of previous cattle sold for deferred delivery is expected to fuel most of packers needs at this point. Bids and asking prices are still delayed but will likely improve by midweek. Boxed beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $0.09 lower (select) and up $0.60 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 46 total loads reported (25 loads of choice cuts, 16 loads of select cuts, no loads of trimmings, 5 loads of ground beef).
FEEDER CATTLE:
Early support in feeder cattle trade is quickly eroding with prices holding losses of 40 to 90 cents per cwt. The overall lack of market movement in the complex is focused on the strong triple-digit losses seen in live cattle trade late in the morning. At this point it is too early to tell if these moves will spark additional pressure either later in the day, or through the rest of the week. But the swift move from strong early gains to the pressure across the complex is adding some short term market concerns.
LEAN HOGS:
Lean hog futures have quickly backed away from strong morning gains following the uncertainty for buyer support to move back into the complex. June futures are still leading the market higher, but gains are now at 67 cents per cwt in front month futures, with spot contracts trading just below $75 per cwt. This lack of follow-through support is following the quick erosion in the cattle complex Tuesday morning. Trade volume is expected to remain generally light with traders focusing on longer term outside market direction. Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is up $0.12 at $65.20 per cwt with the range from $58.00 to $66.00 on 3,952 head reported sold. Cash prices are higher on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is up $0.15 at $65.04 per cwt with the range from $58.00 to $66.00 on 1,140 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report posted 112 loads selling with carcass values adding $2.52 per cwt. Lean hog index for 5/24 is at $69.44 up 0.15 with a projected two-day index of $69.46, up 0.02.

Tuesday Morning Livestock Market Update - Increased Trade Volume Expected Early Tuesday

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Traders are returning from the long holiday weekend with a sense that the focus through the upcoming days and weeks will be placed on summer demand and post-holiday activities. Traders will closely monitor overall movement in the market as they try to quickly assess overall beef product demand over the last weekend. This may help to give a clear indication as to what can be expected between now and the Fourth of July holiday. Warmer temperatures in many areas are likely to help spark additional consumer demand. Early cash market activity is expected to remain sluggish following the lackluster market movement last week. But this could set the tone for an end-of-the-week showdown. But for the most part, inventory-taking and showlist distribution is the main focus Tuesday. Futures trade is expected steady to firm following the late week rally Friday following the Cattle on Feed report, which posted overall placements at 92% of year-ago levels.
Cash hog prices are expected to be steady to firm through early Tuesday trade as traders return from the long holiday weekend. With the Memorial Day holiday weekend in the rearview mirror, traders in the cash and futures complex are not only looking at increased overall support from future summer demand, but the expectation that overall buyer support may continue to develop in the futures trade to build on the recent market gains. Following a strong market pullback during the last couple of weeks, the focus on rebuilding underlying market support through early summer is likely to help to spark some uniform market direction.
BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1)Sharp end-of-the-week gains in feeder cattle futures Friday morning has helped to draw additional underlying support into the entire cattle complex. Some additional follow-through support is expected on Tuesday as increased trade volume is likely following the holiday weekend.1)Increased overall cattle on feed numbers continues to weigh on the overall beef industry. Cattle on feed levels were pegged at 105% of year-ago levels. Even with upcoming summer demand support for beef, beef will continue to be readily available and easily accessible through most of the summer and fall.
2)
Increased attention will be given to the weekend and holiday clearance of beef products over the last few days. Overall beef product movement is expected to remain strong with traders focusing on the ability to take advantage of the warmer, even hot weather in many areas. This could spark some buyer support in both cash and futures trade through the end of the month.
2)Live cattle futures have struggled to follow the strong market rally seen in the feeder cattle complex. Traders seem to be taking a more moderate and cautious approach to the direction of live cattle trade through late May. This may limit follow-through direction during the holiday shortened week, and keep potential buyers on the sidelines.
3)Nearby lean hog futures have posted a strong market rally at the end of last week. This pushed nearby contracts over $2 per cwt higher from recent market lows. The expectation is that additional volume will quickly move into the market with more and more traders back in the saddle following the holiday weekend.3)Market uncertainty in pork cutout value following the volatile price shifts through the last several trading days is expected to keep many traders on the sidelines. Ample pork product is expected to be available to buyers, which may limit a strong, early-summer rally.
4)Cash hog market support is expected to continue to develop early in the week. Although overall trade direction is not expected to change significantly, the focus on buyers moving back into the complex for summer needs is likely to help to firm cash bids through the end of the month.4)Lack of buyer support in spot month June contracts late last week continues to keep many traders cautious through the end of May. The limited support could continue to put more and more focus on long-term demand and price shifts in late summer and early fall, rather than near-term market buying activity, limiting both spot month futures price and fundamental support.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Friday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Feeder Cattle Futures Rally Late Friday

GENERAL COMMENTS
From Friday to Friday, livestock futures scored the following changes: Jun LC, up $2.25; Aug LC, up $4.08; Aug FC, up $7.30; Sep FC, up $6.65; Jun LH, off $0.50; Jul LH, up $0.30. Cash cattle trickled into some parts of the market through early afternoon Friday. Trade is seen in the North at $177 dressed basis and $110 live. Current prices are generally $6 per cwt below week ago levels. Bids are still seen at this time in the South at $110 per cwt, but no significant trade has yet developed. It is likely that some activity may be seen late afternoon or Friday evening, but trade volume may remain extremely light. The combination of reduced schedules next week, due to the Memorial Day holiday and previous sales in May sold for delayed delivery, may keep packers from aggressively sourcing cattle. This is still well below asking prices of $115 and higher in the South, and $182 to $185 in the North. At this point it appears that trade will be delayed until well into Friday. According to the closing report, the national hog base is $0.35 higher compared with the Prior Day settlement ($58.00 to $66.00) weighted average $65.07. The corn futures are higher in light activity. July futures were 1 3/4 cents higher Friday. The Dow Jones Index is 58 points lower with the Nasdaq up 9 points.

LIVE CATTLE
Firm gains developed late in the day following early mixed market activity ($0.25 to $0.65 higher). The ablity to bring buyer support back into the market given the light market activity and pre-holiday schedule is generally impressive. This may help spark some additional underlying support through the complex early next week. Total cattle on feed numbers is 105% ahead of year ago levels. However, the fact that overall marketings in the month is listed at $106% shows continued overall beef market demand growth through early 2018. Trade will remain closed until Tuesday, when the focus will move toward fundamental market activity through the last few days of May. Beef cut-outs: lower, $0.31 lower (select, $204.62) and down $1.57 (choice, $227.43) with moderate demand and offerings (47 loads of choice cuts, 27 loads of select cuts, 18 load of trimmings, 12 loads of coarse grinds).
TUESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL:
Steady with this week. Activity Tuesday is expected to remain sluggish, with packers and feeders not only trying to assess overall procurement needs and inventory, but also many are looking for initial indication as to how active beef demand developed over the holiday weekend. Activity is not expected to be seen until the second half of next week.

FEEDER CATTLE:
Strong triple-digit gains moved into the feeder cattle futures despite the lackluster interest early in the session ($1.10 to $1.62 Higher). Lower overall cattle placement numbers in the cattle on feed report, which was released earlier in the day Friday, pointed to the potential for less bearish market indicators in the near future. Total placements in April are listed at 92% year ago levels. August futures led the complex higher with a $1.62 per cwt rally, moving prices to $144.92 per cwt. The overall support through the complex continues to help to draw increased overall support through the entire market. CME cash feeder index for 5/25 is $135.94 up $1.50.

LEAN HOGS:
Sluggish market volume developed across the complex with traders holding early price shifts through most of the session ($0.62 lower to $0.77 Higher). Spot month June futures fell 62 cents per cwt, with increased overall support developing in the rest of the complex as prices were listed steady to 77 cents per cwt. Many traders have already exited the market for the week, in front of the long holiday weekend. This may bring some additional interest back to the table early next week. Pork prices bounced firmly higher following a strong move higher in Rib and Ham values. Rib prices led the market higher with a $5.27 per cwt gain, although most of this move is associated with markets rebounding from the oversold losses of $20 per cwt Thursday. Pork cut-out: $75.60 up $1.49. CME cash lean index for 5/23 $69.72 up $0.69. DTN Projected lean index for 5/25 $69.44 down $0.28.

TUESDAY'S CASH HOG CALL:

Steady to 50 cents higher. Limited activity is expected to be seen early next week, with little market change seen over the next few days. Cash bids are expected to remain mostly steady as traders assess overall market direction and step into a short week of plant runs. Tuesday runs are expected to be seen near 464,000 head.

Friday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Limited Activity Develops Ahead of Long Weekend

GENERAL COMMENTS: 
Market activity has been increasingly sluggish Friday with very limited trade activity seen in the complex. The May 1 cattle on feed report posted total cattle on feed at 105% and total placement in the month of April at 92% compared to the previous year. Corn prices are higher in light trade. July corn futures are 1 cent higher. Stock markets are mixed in light trade. The Dow Jones is 81 points lower while Nasdaq is up 15 points.
LIVE CATTLE:
Live cattle futures have eroded at midday following the release of the cattle on feed report. Total cattle on feed is listed at 105% of previous year levels at the end of April. Marketing levels are seen at 106%. There continues to be some market pressure developing in the complex, although the lack of activity in the market is keeping any price shifts narrow. Trade is expected to remain generally undeveloped as traders have already been looking into next week following the holiday weekend. Cash cattle trade still remains undeveloped although bids are steadily improving through the morning. Live bids are seen at $108 to $110 per cwt with the top end of the range seen in the South. Dressed bids are seen at $175 per cwt. These bids are still below asking prices of $115 and higher live basis and $177 to $180 dressed. Trade could be delayed until late in the day, although the desire to finish early Friday could spark some early afternoon activity. Boxed beef cut-outs at midday are lower, $0.04 lower (select) and down $1.59 per cwt (choice) with moderate movement of 76 total loads reported (38 loads of choice cuts, 18 loads of select cuts, 12 loads of trimmings, 8 loads of ground beef).
FEEDER CATTLE:
Despite the light trade activity seen across the complex Friday the early release of the cattle on feed report posted overall cattle placements set at 92% of 2017 levels. This is not expected to draw additional support back into the complex over the near future. Trade remains mixed with price 45 cents lower to 30 cents higher through the end of the week.
LEAN HOGS:
Mixed trade continues to be seen across the complex Friday with front month June futures still holding moderate losses in limited trade activity. The rest of the complex is steady to 50 cents higher, although overall limited trade activity through the morning has kept the market direction very limited. Additional support may continue to move into the market through the last couple hours of trade. But overall buyer support may be sluggish due to the long holiday weekend. Cash prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the National Direct morning cash hog report. Cash prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The National Pork Plant Report posted 190 loads selling with carcass values adding $0.78 per cwt. Lean hog index for 5/22 is at $69.03 up 0.34 with a projected two-day index of $69.29, up 0.26

Friday Morning Livestock Market Summary - Limited Trade Expected Friday

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Although the desire from both packers and feedlot managers would be to finish cash cattle trade early and call it good ahead of the long holiday weekend, it appears that there is still a lot of work to do before any significant business gets done. The few trades reported through the North so far this week have been incredibly inconsistent when it comes to price ranges and are unable to establish a market trend at this point. Packer interest is expected to improve through the morning, but it could be late day before trade develops. Futures trade is expected to be mixed following the late-day market pullback on Thursday. Overall trade volume is likely to be extremely light with many traders already stepping away from the complex in front of the long holiday weekend.
Initial cash market activity is expected to remain mixed in a narrow range early Friday morning. Bids are expected to develop from 50 cents lower to 50 cents higher with most bids likely to remain steady to weak. The overall lack of market activity at the end of the end of the week may be the biggest factor through the entire complex, with traders focusing on the ability to square positions following the market support over the last few days. With some traders already stepping out of the market and preparing for weekend activities, the overall direction of futures trade is likely to be unsettled. The light volume may bring additional volatility to the complex as traders look for increased overall positioning opportunities. Following the Friday session, markets will remain closed until Tuesday due to the Memorial Day holiday.
BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1)The focus on increased overall summer grilling demand as traders move into the Memorial Day Holiday weekend could help to draw underlying activity through the complex. This may bring a combination of commercial and investment traders back to the table through the last week in May.1)Strong market pressure Thursday is creating some market uncertainty through the complex. This may lead to follow-through pressure as traders quickly adjust market positions through the end of the week.
2)
Feedlot managers continue to hold onto asking prices from earlier in the week. This is creating the expectation that they feel packers will be able and willing to step back into the complex with firmer bids through the end of the week if they wait long enough.
2)Beef values have been inconsistent through the end of the week with limited overall support developing even though expectations of firm holiday and early summer demand remain good. This could add increased pressure to the entire complex as traders look for some movement through the complex.
3)The ability to draw buyers back into the complex late in the day Thursday was a huge momentum boost through the entire lean hog futures complex. Although the overall market remains in the lower half of the trading range, the rally through the week is helping to rebuild market momentum.3)Sharp losses in rib primal cuts Thursday has created some underlying concern about the ability to continue to push pork values higher in the near future. Rib prices fell over $20 per cwt in the one-day market tumble. This could create some additional underlying concern through the end of the week due in part to the limited market activity.
4)Firm cash hog values are expected to close out the week with packers gaining access of limited needs ahead of the holiday weekend. The fact that prices have not dipped due to the current list of hogs that are ready for market continues to focus on strong underlying expected demand.4)Even though lean hog futures have bounced higher through the recent trading sessions, the complex remains in the bottom half of the short-term trading range. This continues to add to concerns that increased market pressure is likely to develop over the coming days and weeks, which could cause some additional technical pressure through the entire lean hog complex.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Thursday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Cattle Futures Fade in Late Day Trade

GENERAL COMMENTS
Cash cattle interest remains undeveloped with bids moving little from when packers first rolled out offers earlier in the week. Bids are stated in the North at $108 live basis and $175 dressed basis. This is still well below asking prices of $115 and higher in the South, and $182 to $185 in the North. At this point it appears that trade will be delayed until Friday. According to the closing report, the national hog base is $0.01 lower compared with the Prior Day settlement ($58.00 to $66.00) weighted average $64.79. The corn futures are lower in light activity. July futures were 4 cents lower Thursday. The Dow Jones Index is 69 points lower with the Nasdaq down 3 points.
LIVE CATTLE
Late day selling pressure flooded through live cattle trade with prices in nearby contract posting triple-digit losses ($0.35 to $1.05 lower). Narrow gains developed early in the session based on spillover support seen in the feeder cattle market. However, the lack of additional trade volume moving into the market allowed traders to focus on market adjustments and position taking opportunities late in the day. June and August futures led the market lower with prices holding $1 losses. Beef cut-outs: lower, $0.11 lower (select, $204.93) and down $1.08 (choice, $229.00) with moderate demand and light offerings (81 loads of choice cuts, 38 loads of select cuts, nine load of trimmings, 19 loads of coarse grinds).
FRIDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL:
Steady to $2 lower. It appears that cash cattle markets will be delayed until sometime Friday, with a mid-to-late day trade a possibility. Even though both sides desire to get business done earlier than later in front of the holiday weekend, late Friday trade is a possibility.
FEEDER CATTLE:
Early support eroded at the closing bell, allowing most contracts to shift lower Thursday ($0.60 lower to $1.50 higher). Lightly traded May futures was the only contract to hold gains at the closing bell on Thursday. This may draw additional activity back into the market late in the week, but the upcoming holiday weekend is allowing all livestock markets to remain lightly traded. This could limit additional activity through the rest of the week as prices could shift lower based on traders trying to adjust to the sharp gains seen over the last several days. CME cash feeder index for 5/23 is $134.44 up $1.01.
LEAN HOGS:
ight gains trickled into the lean hog complex in the late minutes of trade Thursday ($0.02 to $0.55 Higher). Even though the complex posted losses through most of the session, the overall lack of active trade interest in the market allowed traders to adjust prices higher before the closing bell. The ability to hang onto midweek gains and continue to push steady to higher prices through the end of the week and into the Memorial Day holiday weekend will help draw additional underlying buyer support through the complex. Pork prices shifted lower following an aggressive $20 per cwt loss in Rib values through day. Other primal cuts remained mixed in a moderate price range. Pork cut-out: $74.11 down $0.70. CME cash lean index for 5/22 $69.03 up $0.34. DTN Projected lean index for 5/23 $69.72 up $0.69.
FRIDAY'S CASH HOG CALL:
Steady to 50 cents lower. Sluggish activity is expected late in the week with early Friday trade expected to be generally steady to 50 cents lower. Most bids are expected steady with limited trade seen through the day. Total slaughter numbers Friday are expected to be 444,000 head. Saturday runs are likely to be seen near 30,000 head.

Thursday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Feeder Cattle Futures Rally Thursday

GENERAL COMMENTS: 
Gains have developed through the cattle complex with traders looking for increased overall buyer support through the last half of the week. The expectation that trade volume will continue to erode over the next couple of days may limit price shifts in all markets. Corn prices are lower in light trade. July corn futures are 2 cents lower. Stock markets are lower in light trade. The Dow Jones is 129 points lower while Nasdaq is down 10 points.
LIVE CATTLE:
Narrow losses have developed in spot month June futures as limited activity has been seen through the morning. The rest of the complex is finding light buyer support with 10 to 40 cents per cwt higher. The higher price moves in feeder cattle contracts through the morning is sparking some stability and firmer market tones through the last half of the week. Cash cattle activity remains sluggish with bids redeveloping in the North at the same prices as seen Wednesday. Live bids are seen at $108 per cwt while dressed bids are developing at $175 per cwt. With asking prices significantly above these levels, trade may easily be pushed off until sometime Friday. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $0.14 higher (select) and down $1.07 per cwt (choice) with moderate movement of 73 total loads reported (28 loads of choice cuts, 24 loads of select cuts, 7 loads of trimmings, 13 loads of ground beef).
FEEDER CATTLE:
Triple-digit gains have quickly moved into the feeder cattle complex. There is growing support in all cattle trade although the sluggish market activity expected through the last half of the week could add even more volatility to the complex. May futures are leading the market higher with traders seemingly trying to catch up with previous gains in other markets. May through September contracts are holding gains near $1 per cwt at midday, giving an overall supportive shift to the market.
LEAN HOGS:
Narrow gains are seen in nearby lean hog futures trade while very limited trade activity has developed Thursday morning. This is limiting not only overall direction in the market but the ability for anyone to really desire to step into the complex ahead of the long holiday weekend. Nearby contracts are 2 to 15 cents per cwt lower with several deferred contracts still untraded through the morning. The limited interest may keep most contracts under pressure through the rest of the session. Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is up $0.27 at $65.06 per cwt with the range from $62.00 to $65.25 on 2,620 head reported sold. Cash prices are higher on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is up $0.08 at $64.67 per cwt with the range from $62.00 to $65.25 on 505 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report posted 135 loads selling with carcass values falling $0.85 per cwt. Lean hog index for 5/22 is at $69.03 up 0.34 with a projected two-day index of $69.29, up 0.26

Thursday Morning Livestock Market Summary - Firm Follow-Through Support Expected Thursday Morning

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Cash cattle market activity continues to be undeveloped with the bids and asking prices in midweek leaving a wide gap between price levels. It is expected that more interest will develop through the morning, although trade may be delayed until Friday sometime. It is likely that both sides will try to accomplish needed business before late-day Friday as they desire to wrap things up early going into the long holiday weekend. Futures trade is expected to open steady to $1 higher with follow-through buyer support moving into the complex following the strong midweek rally. But there is concern as to just how much buyer interest there will be and if this will be able to hold prices higher through the morning.
Limited interest is seen in cash hog markets through the last half of the week with traders focusing on the pullback in pork values and generally weak market tone in the last week in all markets. Cash values are expected to be steady to $1 per cwt higher, although most bids are expected to be steady through Thursday morning. Futures trade is pegged to move moderately higher in early trade based on follow-through buyer support moving back into the complex. This may help to draw increased trade into the complex, which may spark some additional trade over the near future.


BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1)Triple-digit gains in cattle futures midweek has helped bring some additional longer-term market interest in the market. This is expected to continue to build momentum as additional commercial buyers appear willing to step back into the complex.1)Cash cattle bids through the early part of the week have been unimpressive and continue to remain well below feedlot manager expectations. This could lead to additional underlying cash market pressure through the end of the week.
2)
Strong upcoming holiday demand is expected to move through themarket as the Memorial Day weekend quickly approaches. Increased grilling and travel activity traditionally helps beef demand.
2)Trade is expected to remain sluggish over the next couple of trading sessions. With the long holiday weekend quickly approaching, additional buyer support will likely move out of the market until next week.
3)Seasonal pork clearance continues to remain supportive through the middle of May as additional increases in seasonal domestic demand of pork continue to help support most primal values. Increased buying is likely to develop following higher demand in all meat products through and after the Memorial Day holiday.3)Lack of firm support in cash hog values created early-week pressure in the lean hog complex. It is uncertain if increased buying will develop before the end of the week due to the abbreviated processing schedules over the holiday weekend.
4)Strong underlying support quickly swept through lean hog values midweek. This has pulled prices off of recent market lows and could provide additional underlying support through the entire complex.4)Despite the strong triple-digit rally Wednesday in nearby lean hog futures, the tone of the market remains weak following the recent price pullback over the last week. Spot month June futures continue to be nearly $3 per cwt below last week's highs, creating concern that follow-through pressure may be developing.