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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Thursday Closing Livestock Market Update - Feeder Trade Leads Cattle Lower

GENERAL COMMENTS: Firm pressure in nearby feeder cattle trade set the tone Thursday. Weakness in the cattle trade was due to traders adjusting end-of-the-month positions and taking protection in the event that long-term resistance at $130 per cwt holds. Hog futures posted strong early gains, but the gains eroded though the session on a lack of new market information and limited volume. Cash cattle markets were undeveloped with the same wide gap between asking prices and bids as seen through the first half of the week. Asking prices remain at $130 and higher live basis and $205 to $206 dressed, while bids are limited to $125 live and $202 dressed. Both sides seem ready to push activity to late in the day Friday. The National Daily Direct afternoon hog report was $0.56 lower ($42-$45.75, weighted average $44.72) on 7,451 head sold. Corn futures were lower in light activity with March falling 1 cent per bushel. The Dow Jones Index was 69 points lower with the Nasdaq down 21 points.
LIVE CATTLE: Live cattle futures saw narrow losses late Thursday as traders adjusted positions. Futures closed mixed, $0.32 lower to $0.55 higher. The February futures contract posted firm gains as traders tried to get out of positions before the contract expires. This took the emphasis off of light pressure in the rest of the complex as traders closely focused on sharp feeder cattle losses and limited market news in beef or cash trade. April futures settled 7 cents lower, as the inability of the contract to move above resistance midweek seems to have pulled buyers out of the market temporarily. End-of-the-month position adjustments were also likely a factor Thursday, which is putting more attention on early Friday trade. Beef cut-outs: higher, up $2.48 (select, $215.27) to up $0.49 (choice, $219.95) with good demand and light-to-moderate offerings, 136 loads (64 loads of choice cuts, 24 loads of select cuts, 8 load of trimmings, 40 loads of coarse grinds).
FRIDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady. Cash cattle interest remains at a standstill going into Friday morning. Trade may not develop until late in the day Friday, as there remains a stalemate between asking prices and bids that has held over the last couple of days.
FEEDER CATTLE: Most feeder cattle futures saw sharp losses Thursday, adding renewed weakness to the cattle complex. Futures settled $1.07 lower to $0.12 higher. Month-end trade quickly sparked weakness through nearby feeder cattle futures, leading to triple-digit losses across spring and summer contracts. The intensity of the losses slowed significantly through the morning, but traders seemed content to back away from recent support due to the potential for higher production costs through the spring and summer months. CME cash feeder index for 2/27 is $139.94, down $0.52.
LEAN HOGS: Trade volume slowed significantly through the last half of Thursday's trading session, allowing lean hog futures to close with narrow gains of $0.05 to $0.55. Trade opened with sharp gains early Thursday, but market depth was challenged through the morning as prices steadily eroded. Nearby contracts managed to hold on to narrow gains at closing bell. The ability to sustain recent support levels was the key focus as traders closed out the month of February. Pork cutouts bounced higher as back-and-forth market shifts continued through late February. Pork cutout values added $0.92 per cwt, moving to $60.49 per cwt on 345 loads. CME cash lean index for 2/26 is $52.82, down $0.03. DTN Projected lean index for 2/27 $52.64, down $0.18.
FRIDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady to $1 lower. Late-week price pressure is expected to continue through the cash hog complex with most bids expected to remain steady to 50 cents lower early Friday. Friday slaughter is expected at 477,000 head. Saturday runs are expected at 196,000 head.

#completeherdhealth

Livestock & Poultry Outlook - Another Record Year for Meat Production Forecast for 2019

ARLINGTON, Va. (DTN) -- U.S. meat production continued to climb to record levels in 2018 and that trend will continue in 2019.
Total red meat and poultry production grew 2% to a record 102.4 billion pounds last year, and USDA expects these categories to increase by 2% again in 2019, to reach a new record of 104.7 billion pounds. These projections were released early Friday in USDA's outlook for livestock and poultry, at the agency's annual Agricultural Outlook Forum in Arlington, Virginia.
This steady rise in production kept cattle, hog and turkey prices lower last year, as well as broiler prices, which rose briefly in the first half of the year before dropping in the second half. USDA expects prices for cattle and turkey to rise in 2019, but hog and broiler prices are forecast to drop lower. Exports for 2019 are expected to increase for all the major commodities, but pork growth may be held back by ongoing trade disputes.
CATTLE & BEEF
The government shutdown in January has delayed USDA's January Cattle report, which forced the agency to rely on inventory estimates from July 2018, and current herd estimates are not available at this time.
As of July, the 2018 calf crop was estimated at 36.5 million head, 2% up from 2017, and the largest calf crop since 2007. Although herd expansion continued in 2018, there are indications that is slowing. Producers indicated that they were retaining fewer heifers, and higher levels of beef cow slaughter were reported through much of the year.
Commercial beef production for 2019 is forecast to increase by 3% to 27.61 billion pounds, which broke the previous record for production set in 2002. Total commercial cattle slaughter is expected to rise in 2019 by nearly 1%.
Beef exports are forecast to have increased by 11% for 2018, with competitive U.S. beef prices and global demand holding steady. For 2019, exports are expected to rise 2% to reach 3.26 billion pounds. USDA predicts U.S. exports will face higher prices in 2019, but drought and flooding in Australia may limit competing supplies.
Beef imports are expected to reach 3.01 billion pounds, just barely up from 2018 levels. The 5-Area steer price for 2018 is expected to average $115 to $122 per cwt, up slightly from 2018. Cow-calf operators and backgrounders will likely see lower prices in 2019, given higher projected feed prices and large supplies of cattle in feedlots. Feeder steer prices are forecast to average $141 to $148 per cwt, compared to $147 in 2018.
PORK
Hog producers continue to expand herds, despite lower returns. Several new plants opened up in the last two years, which has added capacity and allowed producers to take advantage of expectations of strong demand.
Hog inventory for 2018 was pegged at 74.6 million head, up 2% from 2017, and the largest inventory since 1943. The breeding herd was 2% higher as well, topping out at 6.3 million head. The large pig crops from second half 2018 and the first half of 2019 are expected to result in a record numbers of hogs marketed for slaughter in 2019. U.S. hog imports are forecast at 4.2 million head for 2019, just barely down from 2018.
Commercial pork production is forecast to reach a record level of 27.34 billion pounds in 2019, up 4% from 2019. Despite these expected record-high slaughter numbers, the recent expansion of slaughter capacity should absorb this growth, USDA said.
Pork exports increased in 2018, with low prices and increased global economic growth overriding the effect of tariffs and trade disputes. Exports are forecast to increase 6% again in 2019, to 6.3 billion pounds. Pork imports declined 5% in 2018, thanks to rising pork production and low domestic pork prices, which made the U.S. market less competitive abroad. This trend is expected to continue in 2019, with pork imports forecast to drop slightly to 1.06 billion pounds.
U.S. hog prices are forecast to average $41 to $44 per cwt for 2019, down from $46 on average last year.
POULTRY & EGGS
Broiler meat production is expected to rise 1% to a record 43.1 billion pounds. Due to the government shutdown, current flock size estimates are not available, but at the beginning of December 2018, flocks were 1% larger than 2017. Given weak profit margins expected in 2019, flock expansion is unlikely, USDA said.
Broiler meat exports are forecast to increase 1% to 7.15 billion pounds, and USDA expects prices to average $0.94 to $1 per pound, compared to an average of $0.98 per pound in 2018.
Turkey production for 2019 is forecast to reach 5.92 billion pounds, after a decline in 2018. The national turkey hen price is expected to average $0.83 to $0.88 per pound, up from an average of $0.80 in 2018.
The total U.S. egg production is set to reach record heights in 2019, with 9.13 billion dozen eggs expected, up 2% from 2018. As of Dec. 1, 2018, the table layer flock was 33.1 million birds, up 3% from 2017. Although weaker egg prices and higher feed costs may hamper profits in 2019, USDA expected producers to continue flock expansion.
Egg prices are forecast to average $1.22 to $1.29 per dozen, down from $1.38 average for 2018.

#completeherdhealth

Thursday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Cattle Losses Pressure Feeder Trade

General Comments
Firm pressure is building in cattle trade following triple-digit losses moving through nearby feeder cattle trade. The concern that April contracts will move through initial support levels of $145.30 through the end of the week has caused active liquidation. This has sparked underlying pressure in live cattle markets with April futures firmly lower. Hog futures have held onto early gains, but initial market surges have slowly eroded through the morning. Corn futures are lower in sluggish trade. March corn futures are 1 cent lower. Stock markets are mixed in light trade. Dow Jones is 8 points lower with Nasdaq up 5 points.
LIVE CATTLE:
Narrow losses have held through live cattle futures with traders closely focusing on outside market shifts and the overall lack of support developing in feeder cattle trade Thursday. A strong triple-digit loss in the feeder cattle complex could quickly derail the recent support that has slowly but steadily developed in live cattle trade. After testing but not breaking long-term support levels of $130.10 per cwt Wednesday in April contracts, traders have been extremely cautious. This $130 per cwt barrier remains hard to penetrate, and could lead to a moderate to strong market retraction over the near future despite fundamental support. Cash cattle interest is quiet with bids holding at $124 to $125 live and $202 dressed. It appears that both sides will hold onto their position, with late Friday trade likely to be seen once again. Asking prices remain at $130 and higher live and $205 to $206 dressed. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $2.39 higher (select) and up $0.23 per cwt (choice) with moderate movement of 94 total loads reported (40 loads of choice cuts, 19 loads of select cuts, 6 loads of trimmings, 29 loads of ground beef).
FEEDER CATTLE:
Triple-digit losses have continued to hold across feeder cattle trade. Although prices have bounced off of session lows, the underlying weaker tone in the market on the last trading day of February is causing some concern that nearby contracts may be unable to hold support levels set last week. Despite the strong moves in live cattle trade over the last couple of weeks, the underlying concern surrounding future moves in grain trade has feeder cattle traders extremely cautious to actively step back into the complex.
LEAN HOGS:
Narrowly mixed trade is seen midday Thursday with all nearby contracts hovering in a mixed single-digit trading range. The lack of support seen through the morning in order to hang onto firm initial gains is evident of the limited trade volume in the market and traders focusing on end-of-month adjustments. Even though cash hog prices eroded slightly in the morning reports, the expectations that traders may continue to focus on increased underlying support through the rest of the week and maintain recent support levels, has the potential market losses limited through the day. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.41 at $44.87 per cwt with the range from $42.50 to $45.75 on 5,246 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.34 at $45.12 per cwt with the range from $42.50 to $45.75 on 1,365 head reported sold. Pork carcass values posted additional market pressure as wholesale pork markets continue to swing back and forth in a wide range. Pork cutouts inched higher, gaining $0.37 per cwt at $59.94 per cwt with 184 loads traded. Lean hog index for 2/26 is $52.82, down $0.03, with a projected two-day index is $52.64, down $0.18.

#completecalfcare

Thursday Morning Livestock Market Update - Light Activity Expected at Month End

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Cash cattle trade remains elusive with limited interest midweek. Although a few bids have slowly developed at $125 live and $202 dressed, a $3 to $5 per cwt gap remains between asking prices and current bids. This is expected to narrow in the next couple of days, but at this point, both sides seem to be in no hurry. It is likely that packers may limit any aggressive moves until Friday,March 1, and the opening of a new month of financial spending. Futures trade should open mixed in a moderate range. The ability to hold prices generally stable through the end of the session has been impressive given the lack of firm direction in beef values and inactive cash trade. But traders continue to focus on this ceiling price of $130.10, which limited support Wednesday and the potential for another run at breaching this price point.
Packer activity has increased significantly through the week, although it has done little for market prices or the overall range of bids early Thursday morning. This may add even more volatility in early March since packers have negotiated more trade in the last two days than is typically seen in a week's time. The absence of active snowstorms in the next couple of days is a good sign for regaining balance not for only processors, but it will allow producers to move additional hogs and likely become more current in the next couple of weeks. Futures are expected mixed with limited end-of-the-month activity likely to develop. Even though prices seem to be well positioned above support levels, the last several weeks have shown that quick moves downward are never out of the question.
BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1)April live cattle trade continues to hover just below long-term resistance levels. A 20-cent move higher would move be past 2018 highs, then the target would be summer 2017 prices of $131.25 per cwt.1)
A large blanket of cold air continues to hold over much of the Midwest. This is not expected to change in the next couple of weeks, creating challenging feeding conditions and reduced overall gains.
2)
Strong demand expectations continue to add market support to the entire complex as traders not only focus on firm short-term beef demand growth, but stronger market interest through the entire year.
2)Stagnant price levels midweek in all futures left prices hovering in a narrow range as traders seemed unable to break through resistance levels that has seemingly capped market support in the last year. The inability to break through $130.10 during the week could create active pressure across the market.
3)Firm end-of-the-month buyer support is moving into nearby lean hog trade. This is helping to spark some additional expectations that continued buying will develop the next two days.3)Strong triple-digit losses developed once again in wholesale pork prices. The wide daily price swings higher and lower have created a pattern that that has held the market rangebound the past couple of weeks. This could limit market support through early March.
4)
Active cash buying has swept through the market, with over 35,000 hogs sold in the negotiated trade the last two days. This activity indicates that packers are aggressively buying hogs at the end of the month.
4)Even though prices are holding above short-term support levels, market prices are still within the bottom end of the trading range. This is creating concerns of further growth as limited trade interest is willing to step into this market.


#completeherdhealth

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Wednesday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Mixed Trade Leaves Livestock Markets Directionless

GENERAL COMMENTS: Livestock futures saw narrow moves at the end of trade Wednesday as traders tested market direction. Live cattle futures hit long-term resistance at $130.10 per cwt, but pulled back on limited buyer support. Meanwhile, nearby lean hog futures held recent support on firm commercial interest. Cash cattle activity was sluggish again Wednesday with asking prices holding at $130 and higher live basis and $205 to $206 dressed. A few scattered bids developed through the day, but there is still a wide gap that needs to be closed before any business gets done. Bids Wednesday were offered at $125 live and $202 dressed. The National Daily Direct afternoon hog report was $0.04 higher ($42.50-$46, weighted average of $45.27) on 20,620 head sold. Corn futures were lower in light activity with March down 2 cents per bushel. The Dow Jones Index was 72 points lower with the Nasdaq up 2 points.
LIVE CATTLE: Live cattle futures moved in a narrow range, testing long-term resistance levels. Futures settled mixed, $0.17 lower to $0.20 higher. After testing year-long resistance at $130.10 per cwt in morning trade, the April contract moved to that level, but was unable to break through the ceiling. Market support is expected to test these price levels before the week is over. Beef cut-outs: lower, down $0.94 (select, $212.79) to down $0.21 (choice, $219.46) with light demand and moderate offerings, 128 loads (78 loads of choice cuts, 19 loads of select cuts, 11 load of trimmings, 21 loads of coarse grinds).
THURSDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady. Despite the development of a few scattered bids midweek, the cattle market remains quiet with little indication active trade will develop until late in the week again.
FEEDER CATTLE: Light gains developed in feeder cattle futures Wednesday as traders focused on limited news and firm market support in live cattle. Futures closed $0.15 to $0.45 higher. Weakness in the grain markets combined with firm deferred support in live cattle trade to help stimulate buyer support in nearby feeder cattle trade. April led the complex higher with a 45-cent gain, as traders look for underlying support through the end of the week. CME cash feeder index for 2/26 is $140.46, up $0.16.
LEAN HOGS: Lean hog futures closed mixed ($0.52 lower to $0.40 higher) after trading in a narrow range Wednesday. Firm pressure early in the session was short-lived following the inability of traders to break through initial support levels seen early in the week. This allowed renewed buyer support to step back into the complex, moving several nearby contracts 27 to 40 cents higher. Despite continued concerns of burdensome hog supplies and building pork stocks, current prices are unable to attract traders willing to sell. Pork cutouts weakened once again, as wholesale pork prices continue to move sharply higher and lower through the last couple of weeks. Pork cutout values fell $1.39 per cwt, moving to $59.57 per cwt on 353 loads. CME cash lean index for 2/25 is $52.85, down $0.28. DTN Projected lean index for 2/26 $52.82, down $0.03.
THURSDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady to $1.00 lower. Active cash buying has developed over the last two days, putting even more pressure on cash markets as packers continue to fill needed procurement slots with ease. Most bids are expected to be steady to 50 cents lower early Wednesday. Thursday slaughter is expected at 477,000 head. Saturday runs are expected near 195,000 head.

#completecalfcare

Wednesday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Hog Futures Shift Higher Late Morning

General Comments
Limited activity was seen through the entire livestock complex with lean hog trade shifting $1.50 per cwt from session lows as buyers have moved back into the complex. Cattle trade has wandered in a narrow to moderate range through most of the morning with mixed trade still keeping traders cautious Wednesday morning. Corn futures are lower in sluggish trade. March corn futures are 1 cent lower. Stock markets are lower in light trade. Dow Jones is 117 points lower with Nasdaq down 20 points.
LIVE CATTLE:
Limited activity is holding in live cattle trade. Traders are closely watching the moves in April live cattle trade, which have hit, but were unable to break through long-term resistance levels of $130.10 per cwt set in February 2018 on the continuous chart. A shift above this level will likely spark renewed market support over the near future, and could set additional buying activity in motion. April futures are holding steady at $129.92 per cwt, with little incentive to push prices lower at this point. Cash cattle bids are starting to develop through the morning as packers have became slightly more active given the underlying support in futures trade. Live bids of $125 are seen in the South, while dressed bids at $202 are holding in the North. It still may be late in the week before deals are reached as both sides are expected to hold to their position. Asking prices remain at $130 and higher live and $205 to $206 dressed. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $0.67 lower (select) and up $0.18 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 77 total loads reported (40 loads of choice cuts, 10 loads of select cuts, 9 loads of trimmings, 17 loads of ground beef).
FEEDER CATTLE:
Feeder cattle trade remains stuck in a narrow trading range with limited interest developing Wednesday. Prices are hovering from 20 cents lower to 20 cents higher with very light support seen in nearby trade following live cattle futures test of long term resistance levels. Feeder cattle trades are focusing on the limited pressure in corn markets, but most interested in the ability of April live cattle futures to break through 2018 highs of $130.10 per cwt.
LEAN HOGS:
Buyer support is slowly attempting to redevelop in nearby lean hog trade with traders shaking off early market losses. Nearby contracts have traded in a wide range through the morning, moving $1.50 per cwt off initial lows. This continued support is adding confidence to the market, which still struggles with weak fundamentals based on uncertain demand growth. Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price added $0.03 at $45.26 per cwt with the range from $42.50 to $46.00 on 12,295 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.02 at $45.43 per cwt with the range from $42.50 to $46.00 on 6,805 head reported sold. Pork carcass values posted additional market pressure as wholesale pork markets continue to swing back and forth in a wide range. Pork cutouts fell $2.35 per cwt at $58.61 per cwt with 208 loads traded. Lean hog index for 2/25 is $52.85, down $0.28, with a projected two-day index is unavailable at this time.

#completecalfcare

Wednesday Morning Livestock Market Summary - Follow-Through Buying Expected

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Cash cattle business continues to focus on limited trade direction with bids still undeveloped. Although asking prices are starting to become more available as the week continues, this may still not spark trade until late in the week. Even though packers remain short-bought, the lack of interest is likely to limit additional direction Wednesday, although a few bids may slowly develop. Futures trade is expected to continue to show market firmness, although with April contracts bumping up against the $130 per cwt level, there may be some resistance levels to move above these prices through the end of the month. If prices can hold contract highs through the end of the month, this would be a significant boost, potentially sparking even more activity through the upcoming weeks.
With packer runs expected to move back to regular, full speeds through the end of the week, the job to continue to pick up additional market-ready hogs will likely be a simple task. Bids are expected to once again develop from steady to $1 per cwt lower, although most bids are likely to be 50 cents lower through most of the morning. Futures trade is expected to remain higher, although moderate position-taking is expected to move back into the market following the strong Tuesday gains. Even though the complex still remains weak, and near support levels, the potential to bring buyers back into the market through the end of the week could help spark buyer activity during the Wednesday session.
BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1)Nearby contracts continue to set contract highs with April futures testing $130 per cwt resistance levels. Moves above this level could spark additional buyer activity through the entire complex.1)Continued cold weather is still blanketing most of cattle country, creating feeding challenges and limiting overall gains and efficiency. Weather premiums have not been fully working through price support the last several weeks, allowing significant production costs for feeders.
2)
Feedlot managers continue to focus on firming futures trade and recent beef value gains in the wholesale market. This has elevated asking prices. It is likely that feeders will not back away from these prices until late in the week, even then, they may decide not to fold, leaving limited trade once again this week.
2)Select boxed beef cuts posted firm pressure Tuesday, creating underlying concerns that follow-through meat price support may be starting to erode through the end of the month.
3)Strong gains in lean hog futures Tuesday has sparked renewed life through the hog complex, with prices bouncing over $3 per cwt over early-week lows. This shift higher, may be able to spark some additional long-term buyer support through the entire market.3)Sharp cash hog losses developed Tuesday with prices falling $1 per cwt in the afternoon cash sales report. Extremely active trade developed Tuesday, with sales nearly double levels typical seen in daily trade.
4)Even though there are no new details in U.S.-China trade talks, the expectation that something will get done and it will have a positive impact on the pork market, is helping to give the market a sense of hope for long-term stability.4)The tone of the lean hog complex remains weak with prices still near support levels, and traders are uncertain if a one-day bounce is enough to spark consistent change through the entire complex.


#completecalfcare

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Tuesday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Traders Push Hog Futures Higher

GENERAL COMMENTS: Strong support quickly moved into livestock trade Tuesday with triple-digit gains developing in both cattle and hog futures. This may add some uncertainty through the end of the week, as hog futures moved off support levels as traders look for any hint of long-term buyer interest. Cash cattle bids were undeveloped Tuesday due to a lack of packer interest at this point. A few initial asking prices were floated across the market with live cattle priced at $130 and higher, while dressed trade was at $206 and higher. End-of-the-week trade is expected to be seen again unless a major shift in futures trade develops. The National Daily Direct afternoon hog report was $1 lower ($42.75-$46.65, weighted average $45.29) on 14,517 head sold. Corn futures were lower in light activity with March down 4 1/4 cents per bushel. The Dow Jones Index was 33 points lower with the Nasdaq down 5 points.
LIVE CATTLE: Early mixed trade gave way to strong gains in nearby contracts with February leading the complex higher. Futures closed $0.25 to $1.02 higher. The February contract continued to shift higher as traders try to get out of the complex with contracts in delivery and nearing expiration. The April contract gained 70 cents, nearing the $130-per-cwt level with a close at $129.92 per cwt, setting a new contract high in nearby trade. Continued movement through this level would likely spark renewed buyer support, although the air seems to get thin at these price levels. Beef cut-outs: mixed, $0.84 lower (select, $213.73) to up $0.12 (choice, $219.67) with good demand and light offerings, 134 loads (82 loads of choice cuts, 27 loads of select cuts, 9 load of trimmings, 15 loads of coarse grinds).
WEDNESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady. Markets are expected to be quiet once again Wednesday morning. Limited asking prices are seen, but this is enough to set the initial price levels, although packers are unlikely to show bids in the near future.
FEEDER CATTLE: Feeder cattle futures saw strong gains of $0.32 to $1.12 as traders focused on the eroding grain trade. The combination of higher feeder cattle prices in the Oklahoma City market Monday and strong pressure in corn and soybean markets resulted in firm buyer support despite limited early trade volume. April led the complex higher, moving to $146.77 per cwt following a $1.12-per-cwt rally. Cattle futures testing the $130 level points to some additional underlying support in the complex. CME cash feeder index for 2/25 is $140.33, down $0.09.
LEAN HOGS: Lean hog futures saw sharp gains of $0.15 to $1.82 as traders backed away from early pressure on a lack of market news. No new direction is seen in cash markets, and long-term concerns remain about the ability to build pork demand. Nevertheless, traders stepped in front of the market, looking for increased market support through the end of the month. It remains to be seen if this support will hold, but traders seem to be distancing themselves from support levels of just under $53 per cwt. Pork cutouts stabilized Tuesday following several days of back-and-forth swings. Pork cutout values added $0.04 per cwt, moving to $60.96 per cwt on 436 loads. CME cash lean index for 2/22 is $53.13, down $0.52. DTN Projected lean index for 2/25 $52.85, down $0.28.
WEDNESDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady to $1.00 lower. Packers are getting back into a more regular routine as hogs are moving to plants following the weekend storms. This is just in time for additional snow that is expected at the end of the week, while cold weather is expected to continue over the next couple of weeks. The focus on catching up from previous slower plant runs leaves excess hogs available at packers' disposal. Wednesday slaughter is expected at 477,000 head. Saturday runs are expected near 195,000 head, but are dependent on weather.

#completecalfcare

Tuesday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Hog Markets Rebound

General Comments
Moderate to strong gains have quickly moved into all livestock trade. Lean hog futures have posted strong triple-digit gains in nearby trade with traders quickly and aggressively reacting to Monday's lows. Cattle futures have continued to spark underlying support as new contract highs have helped spark additional technical support. Corn futures are lower in sluggish trade. March corn futures are 3 3/4 cents lower. Stock markets are lower in light trade. Dow Jones is 19 points lower with Nasdaq down 10 points.
LIVE CATTLE:
February live cattle trade has continued to develop, even though volume in the February contracts remains extremely light due to most traders already rolling out of the February contract, which is in the middle of the delivery period. April futures are holding firm gains, with a $0.57 gain through the morning as traders focus on continued fundamental support from beef values and expected cash trade. Nearby contracts have continued to set new contract highs, which is brining additional, but limited trade back into the complex. Cash cattle markets are at a standstill Tuesday, which is not surprising given the overall limited interest seen until the end of the week. A few asking prices are starting to develop at $130 and higher live and $206 and higher dressed. Bids may not be seen until midweek or later, likely pushing active trade to the end of the week once again. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $1.60 higher (select) and up $0.39 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 76 total loads reported (53 loads of choice cuts, 7 loads of select cuts, 6 loads of trimmings, 9 loads of ground beef).
FEEDER CATTLE:
Strong gains have continued to move into feeder cattle trade with traders moving the focus back to the lack of support in grain trade while continued gains develop in live cattle markets. Pressure in corn and soybean markets has rekindled the focus on lower production costs, which is expected to allow for additional buyer support for cash feeder cattle prices. Price levels in the Oklahoma City market Monday are seen steady to $3 per cwt higher than week-ago levels, helping to solidify additional underlying support in futures trade.
LEAN HOGS:
Strong triple-digit gains have improved through the morning with April futures holding a $1.97 per cwt rally. This support is focusing on regaining buyer support, which quickly evaporated Monday. The potential to spark underlying technical support once prices moved below $54 per cwt has sparked additional interest through the complex. Additional gains in pork cutout values has added to the underlying support in lean hog trade Tuesday, with traders looking for encouraging pork values to continue through the week. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.30 at $45.99 per cwt with the range from $43.00 to $46.65 on 6,121 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.19 at $45.47 per cwt with the range from $43.00 to $46.00 on 2,771 head reported sold. Pork carcass values bounced higher Monday morning following triple digit gains in most primal cuts. Pork cutouts added $1.04 per cwt at $61.96 per cwt with 218 loads traded. Lean hog index for 2/22 is $53.13, down $0.52, with a projected two-day index is $52.85, down $0.28.

#completecalfcare

Colostrum key to calving season success

Calving time is always busy, so cow/calf producers should prepare in advance to help calves get off to a good start.

Calving time either has arrived or is approaching for many spring-calving beef producers, but not all calves will make it to weaning or marketing, Garrett Preedy, a beef nutritionist wrote in a recent post.
He said preweaning losses can often be traced back to birth, when calves did not receive adequate colostrum from their dams.
Colostrum is the first milk that the cow produces and is high in essential nutrients and antibodies. These antibodies, including immunoglobulin gamma (IgG), are especially important for newborn calves because antibodies do not pass directly from the mother to the fetus through the placenta in cattle like they do in other species (e.g., humans), Preedy said. This means that newborn calves are dependent on the passive transfer of antibodies through colostrum to help them build immunity to bacterial and viral infections.
According to Preedy, research has shown that calves who do not receive adequate amounts of colostrum at birth have increased morbidity and mortality rates before weaning. In addition, sick calves will have reduced weaning weights and other additional health and performance issues in the feedlot, he added.
The following factors can influence the calf’s ability to passively transfer the dam’s antibodies through colostrum consumption:
* Timing of colostrum intake. The timing of the calf’s colostrum ingestion is the most important factor to remember when calving, Preedy said. Not only does the newborn calf's small intestine allow for antibody absorption only within the first 24 hours of the calf’s life, but the efficiency of antibody absorption quickly declines within the first 12 hours, he explained.
Calves should receive adequate amounts of colostrum within the first six hours of life — preferably in the first two hours — for optimum immunity.
* Quality and quantity of the colostrum.Colostrum production is initiated around the last five weeks of gestation, and proper nutritional management is crucial to producing colostrum of a good quality and quantity, Preedy reported. Cows with a body condition score (BCS) of five and above are known to produce colostrum with higher levels of nutrients, including IgG, than cows with a BCS of less than five, he explained.
Proper protein intake will ensure the production of colostrum at an adequate volume and quality and with adequate antibody levels — and will also reduce the number of weak calves at birth, he said. Supplementing with vitamin E and selenium has also been shown to increase the concentration of IgG in cows deficient in selenium compared to non-supplemented cows.
In addition to proper nutrition, utilizing a vaccination strategy prior to calving can improve the antibody concentration in colostrum, Preedy said, suggesting that producers follow manufacturer labels on the timing and administration of pre-calving vaccines.
* Calves born to first-calf heifers. First-calf heifers are known to produce inferior colostrum compared to older cows, Preedy said, explaining that a heifer’s milk production is lowest during her first year, as is the volume of her initial production of colostrum. He added that first-calf heifers have not built up the number of antibodies that older cows have and do not have efficient antibody transport mechanisms.
Also, since the maternal instinct of first-calf heifers can be limited, Preedy said the timing of colostrum intake may be delayed because some heifers may not allow their calf to immediately nurse or may reject the calf altogether.
* Cow’s udder. The conformation of the udder and teats can inhibit a new calf’s ability to suckle colostrum for the first time, Preedy said. If the calf is unable to latch on and nurse due to the size or shape of the teats, the timing of the colostrum intake may be delayed.
Cows with quarters that do not produce milk, also known as blind quarters — usually caused by mastitis — will produce less colostrum, he added. Culling cows with poor udders will reduce the possibility of calves being unable to nurse quickly and efficiently.
* Dystocia and injury. Calves who go through difficult births, either assisted or unassisted, are at a higher risk of the passive transfer failing for several reasons, Preedy said. First, dystocia can be stressful for a calf and, as such, may increase the amount of time it takes for that calf to stand and nurse. Second, calves that experience a prolonged stage II of labor will often suffer from severe respiratory acidosis, resulting in less efficient absorption of IgG from colostrum. Third, injuries sustained during difficult births may prohibit calves from standing and nursing.
Producers should keep a close eye on calves that experienced a difficult birth and intervene, when needed, to ensure that those calves do consume colostrum, Preedy said.
* Weather conditions. Cold weather can affect the calf’s ability to obtain passive transfer, as calves that experience severe cold stress at birth are often slower to get up and nurse, meaning that many of these calves do not consume adequate colostrum in a timely manner, Preedy noted.
* Environment. Producers may not associate proper pen and pasture management with passive transfer, but it can play a major role, Preedy said. Muddy pen conditions can interfere with colostrum consumption by making it difficult for the calf to quickly stand and nurse as well as by covering the cow’s udder and inhibiting the calf from efficiently nursing.
If ingested, bacteria from mud and waste can colonize the villi in the calf's small intestine, reducing the absorption of key nutrients into the gut and potentially leading to scours outbreaks in calves, Preedy said.
Preedy concluded that calving time is always busy, so cow/calf producers should prepare in advance to help calves get off to a good start. Producers should maintain their equipment and facilities just in case intervention is necessary during a difficult birth, he said. They should also make sure to have unexpired colostrum replacement products on hand in case intervention is necessary or the calf is unable to obtain adequate colostrum from the cow.

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Tuesday Morning Livestock Market Update - Renewed Hog Market Pressure Develops

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Sluggish trade is expected early Tuesday morning following lackluster and directionless moves in all cattle trade Monday. Sharp early-week losses in corn, wheat and lean hog trade have diverted the focus away from fundamental and technical moves that may develop in the cattle complex, keeping prices hovering in a narrow range. The direction Tuesday is not expected to change as traders continue to focus on outside market direction while assessing end-of-month demand for beef. Cash markets are undeveloped with bids and asking prices still quiet. This is expected to continue through the next couple of days with active trade likely to be pushed off until late in the week.
Packers will attempt to get back to normal as many areas spent the weekend and part of the day Monday cleaning up from the latest round of snow and winter weather, yettransportation in some areas will still be a challenge, which will limit overall movement of hogs to plants. Cash bids are still expected steady to $1 per cwt lower with regional market situations likely to keep bids scattered through the range. Futures are expected to continue to move lower following concerns of pressure in cash markets and lack of stability in wholesale pork values. This may add even more uncertainty to the entire complex as traders could once again test last-week lows. Slaughter runs are expected at 475,000 head Tuesday.
BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1)Strong early-week gains in boxed beef values has sparked increased underlying support through the entire beef complex.1)Severe winter weather and mounting snow amounts in many areas of Northern cattle country is limiting gains and cattle health through the last couple of months. This is expected to increase costs of gains of most cattle, also delaying finishing cattle by as much as weeks in some areas.
2)
Packers appear to remain short-bought going into the week. This would likely leave packers with limited cattle sourced through the first week in March, adding the potential for increased cash values as the week continues.
2)The inability for packers to buy additional cattle on the cash market has created pressure to reduce overall plant runs. This may continue to reduce overall packer needs through the end of the month, avoiding higher cash market prices.
3)Triple-digit gains developed in pork cutout values Monday,signaling that demand may be picking up as 2019 progresses.3)Volatile shifts in wholesale pork prices hascreated market uncertainty in the complex. The trend of variable wide up and down markets is eroding the confidence that primal cuts are gaining demand through the end of February.
4)Hope continues to develop that any trade deal with China would secure significant short- and long-term pork purchases. This market momentum will likely randomly gain traders attention through the next couple of weeks.4)Sharp triple-digit losses have flooded through the entire lean hog complex Monday. This created additional concern that follow-through liquidation will develop as the week continues. This may push through recent support levels, setting contract lows before the end of the month.

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Monday, February 25, 2019

Monday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Hog Futures Under Pressure Again Monday

GENERAL COMMENTS: Livestock trade was limited Monday. Sharp triple-digit losses in early in nearby lean hog futures set a weaker tone, but hog futures were able to eventually move off morning lows as contracts fell $1 to $1.65 per cwt lower in nearby trade. Cattle futures were mixed in a narrow trading range, as corn and hog market pressure eroded firm morning buyer support. Cash cattle markets were quiet Monday afternoon following the sluggish market last week. Bids and asking prices are undeveloped. This is not unexpected at this point, as both sides are likely to be holding out for direction from futures trade and beef price changes. Showlists appear to be generally larger, which would be expected given the limited trade seen last week in cash markets. The National Daily Direct afternoon hog report was $0.49 lower ($43-$47, weighted average $46.41) on 4,815 head sold. Corn futures were lower in light activity with March down 4 3/4 cents per bushel. The Dow Jones Index was 105 points higher with Nasdaq up 41 points.
LIVE CATTLE: Firm buyer support quickly stepped into the live cattle market Monday morning following the higher cash cattle trade last week. However, the gains failed to hold, as traders pulled out of the market later in the day. Futures settled $0.12 lower to $0.35 higher. Traders are uncertain what the next round of Cold Storage and Cattle on Feed reports may hold, as last Friday's delayed reports gave little market direction. The strong pressure in the hog trade also pulled some traders away from the cattle complex as they tried to adjust to the market volatility in lean hog futures. Beef cut-outs: higher, up $2.22 (select, $214.57) to up $0.16 (choice, $219.55) with light demand and offerings, 83 loads (49 loads of choice cuts, 14 loads of select cuts, 4 load of trimmings, 16 loads of coarse grinds).
TUESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady. Limited cash trade developing last week has allowed for additional cattle to be carried over to this week. But, given the lackluster interest early in the week, it is expected that trade may not develop until the last half of the week again.
FEEDER CATTLE: Feeder cattle trade remained stuck in a narrowly mixed range following limited market direction Monday. Futures closed $0.40 lower to $0.35 higher. Firm pressure in corn trade sparked some support in spring and summer contract months. The April futures contract led the market higher with a 35-cent bounce on limited trader interest. The ability of live cattle futures to hold stable near contract highs is sparking some limited but firm interest in feeder cattle futures. CME cash feeder index for 2/22 is $140.42, up $0.89.
LEAN HOGS: Lean hog futures quickly came under pressure Monday, leading to concerns of further market pressure over the coming days. Futures closed $0.02 to $1.62 lower. The April contract temporarily broke through its support level of $62.97 per cwt set last week. The underlying concern is that growing hog supplies and sluggish demand will keep buyers on the sidelines. Prices moved more than $1 per cwt over session lows as seller interest became scarce at the lower levels, allowing markets to moderate a bit. This still leaves the complex in a challenging situation, with traders focusing on weak fundamental support as well as technical pressure. Pork cutout values firmed with strong gains in butt, ham and belly primal cuts. Pork cutout values added $1.91 per cwt, moving to $60.92 per cwt on 277 loads. CME cash lean index for 2/21 is $53.65, down $0.41. DTN Projected lean index for 2/22 $53.13, down $0.52.
TUESDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady to $1.50 lower. The combination of strong futures market weakness as well as adverse weather conditions is expected to further erode cash hog markets Tuesday. Packers are trying to get back to a normal schedule following the weekend storm that disrupted production and hog movement. Most bids are expected to be steady to 50 cents lower as packers work through the backlog of hogs over the past few days. Tuesday slaughter is expected at 471,000 head.

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