Friday, March 29, 2019

Friday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Sharp Losses in Hog Futures

GENERAL COMMENTS: Lean hog futures were down triple digits Friday as traders adjusted markets at the end of the month and quarter. Wide price swings during March have created volatile markets. Cattle futures shifted moderately lower late Friday. From Friday to Friday, livestock futures scored the following changes: Apr LC off $4.02; Jun LC off $4.50; Apr FC off $3.55; May FC off $5.28; Apr LH off $0.95; May LH off $5.70. Cash cattle trade appears to be essentially done for the week, although there are rumors of limited trade developing in western Nebraska at $126.50 per cwt. The majority of needed trade developed Wednesday at $125 to $128 live and $204 to $206 dressed. Prices are generally $1 to $3 per cwt lower than last week. The National Daily Direct afternoon hog report was $0.48 lower ($68- $77.50, weighted average $74.89) on 5,992 head sold. Corn futures were lower in active trade following the USDA report with May down 17 cents per bushel. The Dow Jones Index was 151 points higher with the Nasdaq up 48 points.

LIVE CATTLE: Live cattle futures broke out of the narrowly mixed trade range seen the last couple of days to close $0.30 to $0.82 lower. End-of-the-month position-squaring pressured the market with April and August futures leading the market lower. Traders continue to back away from the strong rally seen over the last three weeks. The April futures contract broke through its support level, which could result in additional liquidation early next week. The focus on fundamental and technical weakness over the last week is expected to spark limited interest during early April. Beef cut-outs: lower, down $0.63 (select, $218.89) to down $1.40 (choice, $226.04) with moderate demand and light offerings, 92 loads (51 loads of choice cuts, 24 loads of select cuts, 8 load of trimmings, 9 loads of coarse grinds).

MONDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady. The early week trade this week is not expected to change the direction or activity levels Monday. Showlist distribution and inventory-taking are likely to be the main activities Monday with trade likely to develop later in the week, even though packers remain short bought.

FEEDER CATTLE: Feeder cattle futures settled mixed ($0.90 lower to $0.85 higher) in choppy trade Friday. Despite the back-and-forth trade seen early in the session, traders seemed to totally ignore sharp losses in the grain market Friday, which typically spark interest in feeder cattle. The concern that follow-through pressure may develop in early April with prices at or near short-term support levels kept most buyers out of the market Friday. CME cash feeder index for 3/28 is $141.74, down $0.61.

LEAN HOGS: Lean hog futures ended March like a lion with sharp losses of $1.50 to $4.02 Friday. The June contract has tumbled $6.25 per cwt over the last two trading sessions as traders backed away from the rally seen over the last couple of weeks. Even though the USDA Hogs and Pigs report was viewed as slightly bearish with a 2% increase in inventory from last year, the main concern is that export sales may not be as aggressive as previously thought, following an export sales report this week that showed no new sales and a cancelation. This could usher in a period of volatility in hog markets depending on weekly export numbers to China. Pork cutout values stabilized Friday despite wide market shifts in primals, moving from $1.96 lower to $2.53 higher. Pork cutout values added $0.12 per cwt, moving to $81.33 per cwt on 243 loads. CME cash lean index for 3/27 is $71.72, up $2.22. DTN Projected lean index for 3/28 $73.87, up $2.15.


MONDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady to $1 higher. Despite the pressure in the futures trade, packers continue to aggressively source market-ready hogs. This will continue early next week with most bids expected 50 cents higher. Monday slaughter is expected at 477,000 head.

#completecalfcare

Friday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Hog Futures Moderate at Midday

General Comments

Sharp, triple-digit losses have eased Friday in lean hog futures as traders focus on squaring positions ahead of month and quarter end. Cattle markets are sluggish as prices continued to bounce higher and lower through the morning. Cattle markets are mixed in a very narrow range. Corn futures are lower in light trade. May corn futures are 12 cents lower. Stock markets are higher in light trade. Dow Jones is 111 points higher with Nasdaq up 31 points.

LIVE CATTLE:
Limited pressure has trickled into live cattle trade at midday Friday as traders continue to adjust prices lower ahead of month end. April futures are holding a 42-cent loss, falling to $126.05 per cwt with limited volume seen during the morning, and even less activity likely to develop the rest of the day. A close below $126.07 in April futures would set additional market weakness, indicating additional softness may quickly develop during early April. Cash cattle activity is undeveloped following light to moderate midweek trade. At this point only a few dressed bids have developed in Nebraska at $204 per cwt. It appears trade may be done for the week as neither side seems to be aggressively looking to move additional cattle before the end of the month. Boxed beef cut-outs at midday are lower, $0.18 lower (select) and down $1.43 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 47 total loads reported (28 loads of choice cuts, 7 loads of select cuts, 6 loads of trimmings, 6 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE:
Feeder cattle futures have bounced higher and lower through the morning with little to no consistency seen through the complex. The sharp losses in corn markets following the USDA Prospective Plantings report initially brought buyers back into the complex at midmorning. But this interest quickly eroded with prices still mixed to mostly lower as traders look for increased overall pressure to hold through the end of the session. Traders continue to adjust positions at month and quarter end, following an extremely volatile month of March.

LEAN HOGS:
Follow-through pressure is seen in lean hog futures trade Friday morning, although traders have quickly moved away from the extremely bearish weakness as markets are mixed in a narrow to moderate range. Initial losses expanded trading limits with deferred futures falling more than $4 per cwt in active selling. The inability to spark additional follow-through losses could go a long way in stabilizing the complex at the end of the month. April futures are holding moderate gains, while most other contracts remain $1 to $2 per cwt lower. Even these strong losses will not trigger a market reversal given the strong underlying gains seen over the last couple of weeks. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.42 at $74.95 per cwt with the range from $68.00 to $77.00, on 3,370 head reported sold. Cash prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. Pork values shifted lower Friday as widespread futures pressure limited wholesale price levels. Pork cutouts fell $0.26 per cwt at $80.95 per cwt with 137 loads traded. Lean hog index for 3/27 is $71.72 up $2.22, with a projected two-day index is unavailable at this time.

#completeherdhealth

Friday Morning Livestock Market Summary - Pressure Expected in Hog Trade

GENERAL COMMENTS:

Narrow trade ranges are expected early Friday morning as limited direction and the potential for renewed market stability move through live cattle trade. The focus will be on outside markets Friday with end-of-the-month and quarter positioning taking place among noncommercial traders. Cash cattle activity is expected to develop with light-to-moderate trade on Wednesday, but not enough activity for packers going into the month of April. The tone of the market is already set even as bids develop through the morning, but any trade that develops may not move significantly from early-week prices.

Sharp losses quickly and aggressively moved into lean hog trade Thursday, setting the stage for what could be another round of aggressive losses at the end of the month. Even if prices do tumble lower -- expanded trading limits will allow markets to fall $4.50 per cwt -- any technical reversal would still not be set in most contracts due to the aggressive market rally last week. Concerns about the ability to continue to move aggressive amounts of pork to China were hindered, following no sales in the export sales report. This is expected to be a major focus through the spring and summer months as traders look for any sign of increased demand. Cash hog values are expected once again steady to $1 per cwt higher with most bids steady per cwt higher Friday morning. Expected slaughter Friday is at 469,000 head. Saturday runs are expected at 146,000 head.


BULL SIDE BEAR SIDE
1)
Firm buyer support continues to develop in feeder cattle trade through the end of the month, helping to solidify additional commercial interest moving back into the complex.
1)
Moderate-to-strong pressure developed in beef values with traders starting to adjust values lower following the softness in futures trade and concern that short-term beef demand may struggle.
2)
Following the aggressive Midwest flooding and recent blizzards, more and more details are surfacing concerning the amount of cattle impacted through the storms. This is expected to help create underlying support through the overall complex.
2)
Pressure from outside markets is making it difficult to regain strong buyer support in all cattle trade. This could limit end-of-the-month price moves through the live cattle and feeder cattle trade.
3)
Cash hog values continue to shift higher following an aggressive double-digit rally the last couple of weeks. This firmness is expected to help bring some stability to the market despite volatile futures trade.
3)
Sharp limit losses developing through most nearby lean hog futures has resulted in continued market pressure. This could spark expanded trading limits, allowing for market losses to continue during early April.
4)
Farrowing intentions on the released hogs and pigs report is expected to slow through the summer months with projected intentions remaining steady with 2018 levels, compared to current levels 2% higher from year-ago levels, indicating the current expansion is slowing.
4) The reaction to Thursday's export sales report and lack of pork sales to China appears to set a precedent that price could quickly and violently shift, depending on weekly sales numbers. Despite the shortsighted views in the market, the emotionally-charged complex could be driven by reported weekly sales numbers.

#completeherdhealth

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Thursday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Hog Futures End Limit Down

GENERAL COMMENTS: Lean hog futures closed the limit $3 per cwt lower Thursday, which will trigger expanded trading limits Friday. The volatile moves in the hog market over the last two weeks could spark wide price shifts. Cash cattle markets were generally undeveloped Thursday following Wednesday's light-to-moderate trade in all areas. The overall numbers sold appear to be light, with some additional movement likely Friday. Bids Thursday were in a similar range as Wednesday, unable to gain additional traction as feeders seem comfortable holding out on unsold cattle until bids improve or will hold cattle over until early April. The National Daily Direct afternoon hog report was $0.37 higher ($66-$78, weighted average $75.36) on 7,687 head sold. Corn futures were higher in light activity with May up 1/4 cent per bushel. The Dow Jones Index was 98 points higher with the Nasdaq up 25 points.
LIVE CATTLE: Live cattle futures saw only narrow moves Thursday as stability developed in late-day trade. Futures closed mixed, $0.20 lower to $0.27 higher. Limited movement was seen the entire session. Nearby contracts inched higher on firmness in feeder cattle, while the lack of trade activity allowed narrow erosion in summer and winter contracts. Traders' focus has moved back to the limit losses in the lean hog complex. At this point, it is uncertain if live cattle will be able to attract traders fleeing the hog markets since the live cattle trade has also seen losses this week. Markets could remain sluggish through the end of the month as traders wait until early April before moving back into the complex. Beef cut-outs: lower, down $1.01 (select, $219.52) to down $1.55 (choice, $227.44) with moderate demand and light offerings of 87 loads (62 loads of choice cuts, 14 loads of select cuts, 5 load of trimmings, 6 loads of coarse grinds).
FRIDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady. Limited bids are expected to develop Friday. The overall movement of cattle Wednesday is lighter than what one would expect for the week, creating the potential for additional trade Friday. Prices are likely to be steady with Wednesday's levels, remaining generally $2 to $3 per cwt lower than week-ago prices.
FEEDER CATTLE: Light buying interest trickled into feeder cattle trade following initial pressure. Futures closed $0.15 lower to $0.52 higher. The volatility in hog trade seemed to create a calming effect on the cattle market, as traders seemed to move into the feeder cattle complex. The lightly traded March futures contract slipped lower, while other contracts saw light-to-moderate gains. The limited trade activity added more uncertainty to the complex. CME cash feeder index for 3/27 is $142.35, up $0.20.
LEAN HOGS: Lean hog futures saw triple-digit losses of $2.15 to $3 on fears of export weakness. The focus Thursday was on the weekly export sales report. Following two weeks of sales reported to China, traders and most market watchers seemed to be anticipating this was the new normal. But, instead, not only were no sales reported, but a cancelation to China seemed to leave the market on edge. On top of that, the emotional buying that caused contracts to surge to new highs seems to have run out of steam over the last couple of days. USDA's March 1 Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report released Thursday afternoon showed a 2% increase in total inventory from a year ago. Numbers kept for breeding and marketing were also each up 2% from a year ago. Pork cutout values weakened following unsettled moves in futures trade and concerns of widespread pressure. Pork cutout values fell $0.42 per cwt, moving to $81.21 per cwt on 271 loads. CME cash lean index for 3/26 is $69.50, up $2.37. DTN Projected lean index for 3/27: $71.72, up $2.22.
FRIDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady to $1 higher. End-of-the-week price support is slipping following strong futures price pressure and uncertainty about demand. Most bids are expected steady to 50 cents higher. Friday slaughter is expected at 469,000 head. Saturday runs are expected at 146,000 head.

#completeherdhealth

Thursday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Expanded Hog Losses Develop

General Comments
Strong losses have developed in lean hog futures Thursday morning. Increased underlying pressure may continue to be seen through the end of the week as the emotional buyer support seen last week has quickly eroded. Cattle markets are mixed in a very narrow trading range. Corn futures are steady to slightly lower in light trade. May corn futures are steady. Stock markets are lower in light trade. Dow Jones is 2 points lower with Nasdaq down 3 points.
LIVE CATTLE:
Mixed trade continues to develop in limited interest as traders seem to be willing to hold the current price pattern through the near future. Even though April futures have pushed below March support levels, the tone of the market remains firm, which may help to rekindle buying activity during early April. Traders continue to focus on expanded demand through the spring and summer, allowing for increased overall support through the entire complex. Cash cattle activity remains sluggish with limited bids developing in Nebraska at $125 live and $204 per cwt dressed. Following the light to moderate trade Wednesday it is uncertain just how much additional trade will develop through the end of the week. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are lower, $0.19 lower (select) and down $1.10 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 50 total loads reported (38 loads of choice cuts, 9 loads of select cuts, no loads of trimmings, 3 loads of ground beef).
FEEDER CATTLE:
Narrow losses are seen in feeder cattle trade with limited additional direction developing Thursday morning. April contracts are holding a 20 cent loss, moving to $145.70 per cwt. Nearby contracts have posted strong losses over the last four trading sessions, but still remain well above support levels, and could remain in the wide sideways pattern for an extended period of time. Growing weakness in lean hog trade is limiting buyer activity through the morning, but most traders are unwilling to aggressively shift prices due to the lack of overall direction in the complex.
LEAN HOGS:
Losses have continued to expand as summer losses above $2 per cwt midmorning. This sparked additional concerns that increased market pressure continues to add uncertainty to the market. April futures are $1.90 per cwt lower, with the rest of 2019 contracts $2 to $2.50 per cwt lower. The potential to expand further losses through the rest of the week is growing as traders remain concerned about the ability to sell pork to China. Continued varied reports about what the impact of total hog numbers impacted is hard to get an accurate read on the overall situation. This could leave markets unsettled over a long period of time. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.01 at $74.98 per cwt with the range from $66.00 to $78.00, on 4,339 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.72 at $75.99 per cwt with the range from $66.00 to $78.00, on 1,523 head reported sold. Pork values continue to move higher, but wide price swings in pork primal cuts has caused some uncertainty through the market. Pork cutouts gained $0.44 per cwt at $82.07 per cwt with 152 loads traded. Lean hog index for 3/26 is $69.50, up $2.37, with a projected two-day index is $71.72, up $2.22.

#completecalfcare

Thursday Morning Livestock Market Summary - Cattle Futures Focus on Recent Losses

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Active pressure midweek is opening the door for additional technical pressure for the last two trading sessions of March. Even though most contracts still remain above the short-term support levelsfrom early March, the break below $126.65 in April contracts sparked a market reversal and increased liquidation. Trade is expected to remain sluggish early Thursday morning, although the overall tone of the complex continues to weaken following the early development of cash cattle trade at lower money. Traders are watching the overall outside market direction, which had a significant impact on midweek price levels, for follow-through pressure in the coming days and weeks. Cash cattle trade started to develop at midday on Wednesday, surprising most in the market how quickly things developed as traders tried to cover basis levels. Prices were $126 live and $206 dressed, although additional trade is possible through the end of the week. But at this point, prices are likely to already be set.
Follow-through buyer support is expected in nearby spot traded lean hog futures Thursday following continued support in cash and wholesale pork values. Traders continue to focus on the direction of trade and news of any agreement with China. This may limit overall direction as the recent market rally still has room to move lower before renewed buying steps back into the market. Cash hog values are expected to be steady to $2 per cwt higher with most bids $1 per cwt higher Thursday morning. Expected slaughter Wednesday is at 477,000 head. Saturday runs are expected at 146,000 head.
BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1)
Early-week cash cattle trade indicates just how short-bought packers are going into the end of the month. Even though price levels are not able to follow, the potential for packers to aggressively search for cattle may continue through early April.
1)
April live cattle trade has broken through early March support levels of $126.65 per cwt, sparking potential weakness the rest of the week.
2)
Active movements in wholesale beef levels continue to spark increased overall long-term support and expectations of further gains through the next two months.
2)
Strong outside market pressure has crept through livestock trade, quickly sparking moderate-to-strong softness through live cattle and feeder cattle trade.
3)
April lean hog futures continue to surge higher, driven by fundamental support as commercial buying interest continues to hold prices above $80 per cwt.
3)
Limited news surrounding any trade deal talks with China has created uncertainty in the market, which could lead to mixed messages through the end of the month, leaving prices unsettled.
4)
Cash hog prices have continued to surge higher despite the limited support in futures trade. The need and ability for packers to gain access to market-ready hogs is allowing for increased spending in all areas.
4)Despite gains in nearby lean hog trade, the inability to sustain buying interest is adding weakness in the entire complex.

#completeherdhealth

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Wednesday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Cattle Futures Slide Lower

GENERAL COMMENTS: The April lean hog futures contract surged higher Wednesday on continued support in cash hogs. The rest of the livestock complex remained generally weak on outside market weakness. Cash cattle trade quickly developed Wednesday morning with Southern deals struck at $126 per cwt live. With prices falling $2 per cwt lower from week-ago levels, additional dressed trade started to develop early afternoon Wednesday at $206 to $207. Most trade was seen at $206, which is $2 per cwt lower than last week. Although additional trade may continue to develop through the rest of the week, the tone of the market is already set, likely inking prices for the week at current levels. The National Daily Direct afternoon hog report was $1.87 higher ($64-$80, weighted average $74.92) on 10,605 head sold. Corn futures were lower in light activity with the May down 3 1/2 cents per bushel. The Dow Jones Index was 32 points lower with the Nasdaq down 48 points.

LIVE CATTLE: Live cattle futures settled $0.20 to $1.12 lower. Sharp losses quickly developed across all live cattle trade Wednesday with the June contract leading the complex lower. The summer contracts posted the most significant losses, nearing $1 per cwt. The combination of widespread outside market losses and the spot April futures contract breaking through short-term support levels sparked technical pressure through all nearby contracts. This could lead to increased end-of-the-week liquidation through nearby futures trade. Beef cut-outs: mixed, up $1.54 (select, $220.53) to down $0.52 (choice, $228.99) with light demand and moderate to heavy offerings of 157 loads (99 loads of choice cuts, 12 loads of select cuts, 17 load of trimmings, 30 loads of coarse grinds).

THURSDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: $2 lower. The courtship of bids and asking prices was extremely short this week with light-to-moderate trade developing quickly Wednesday. Follow-through interest is expected to be seen early Thursday, although the tone of the market is likely to be set following midweek trade.

FEEDER CATTLE: Feeder cattle futures ended mixed ($0.62 lower to $0.10 higher) as traders focused on outside market pressure. Feeder cattle is the one livestock market that continues to have mixed reactions to outside market pressure, including losses in nearly all commodity markets, energy trade and the stock market. Nearby futures followed the rest of the complex lower as traders continue to remain concerned about the ability to spark follow-through buying as losses developed in live cattle trade. But limited buying trickled into deferred summer and fall feeder cattle futures as traders took into account lower grain prices. This lowers overall production costs for feeding cattle, allowing for increased margin available for feeder cattle prices. CME cash feeder index for 3/26 is $142.15 up $0.11.

LEAN HOGS: Early pressure eased as buyers returned to the lean hogs complex, leading to a mixed close ($0.52 lower to $1.60 higher). Strong gains quickly moved into nearby lean hog trade with the April contract leading the complex higher following support in cash trade. The rest of the complex was less convinced, as triple-digit losses held for most of the session as profit-taking developed. Even though the long-term focus is on expanded domestic pork demand and growing exports, the short-term support in cash trade is leading spot-month contracts higher. Mixed primal values limited pork price gains. The firmness continues, but is much less aggressive. Pork cutout values were up $0.56 per cwt, moving to $81.63 per cwt on 320 loads. CME cash lean index for 3/25 is $67.13, up $2.16. DTN Projected lean index for 3/26: $69.50, up $2.37.


THURSDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady to $2 higher. Strong buyer support is expected to develop through the rest of the week. Most bids are expected to develop $1 per cwt higher, but the range of the market is likely to remain wide. Thursday slaughter is expected at 477,000 head. Saturday runs are expected at 146,000 head.

#completecalfcare

Wednesday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Hog Futures Struggle

General Comments
Hog futures continue to lead the complex lower despite gains in spot-month trade. This has further eroded live cattle trade due to limited market direction through the entire complex. Corn futures are lower in sluggish trade. May corn futures are 4 cents lower. Stock markets are lower in light trade. Dow Jones is 203 points lower with Nasdaq up 42 points.
LIVE CATTLE:
Firm pressure has moved back into live cattle trade. April futures have posted a 42-cent loss, falling to $126.46 through the morning. This has fallen below short-term support levels seen in early March, and could signal additional liquidation as traders continue to ratchet prices lower through the end of the month. The inability to show consistent support in beef values is adding to the overall pressure in all contracts, which are trading 30 to 80 cents lower in limited activity. Cash-markets trade shocked the market with light to moderate trade developing across the South. Live trade is seen at $126 per cwt, and was a surprise given that both sides seemed to be resigned to waiting until Friday before active trade developed over the past several weeks. This trade is generally $2 per cwt lower than last week. It is uncertain how many more bids will be seen at these levels, given the eagerness for feedlot managers to sell. This could leave more volatility through the end of the week. Bids of $205 are seen in the North, but these prices are still well below $210 asking prices. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $1.72 higher (select) and down $0.70 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 85 total loads reported (53 loads of choice cuts, 7 loads of select cuts, 5 loads of trimmings, 20 loads of ground beef).
FEEDER CATTLE:
Limited activity continues to develop through the feeder cattle complex following moderate price swings during morning activity. The underlying pressure in most outside markets and softness in live cattle trade is maintaining a generally weak hold on the entire complex. But summer contracts are starting to break away from this market pressure with narrow gains in May and August futures based on firm losses in grain trade, which lowers production costs. Direction is expected to remain limited through the entire complex allowing for increased uncertainty through the entire market.
LEAN HOGS:
Strong triple-digit losses have moved through summer contracts despite the ability for spot April contracts to sustain firm midday gains. Support in spot prices are focusing on the strength in cash markets through the week. The downturn in the market is not expected to create significant market pressure at this point, as traders focus on the potential for profit taking following the extended market surge over the last couple of weeks. Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price added $0.14 at $73.19 per cwt with the range from $64.00 to $77.50, on 5,118 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.24 at $73.72 per cwt with the range from $64.00 to $77.50, on 2,244 head reported sold. Pork values continue to firm but are showing more stability in primal markets. Pork cutouts gained $0.98 per cwt at $82.05 per cwt with 181 loads traded. Lean hog index for 3/25 is $67.13, up $2.16, with a projected two-day index is $69.50, up $2.37.

#completecalfcare

Wednesday Morning Livestock Market Update - Trade Focused on Growing Pork Demand

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Limited futures activity is expected in live cattle and feeder cattle trade this week with early-week lossesand short-covering opportunities unlikely in most of the complex. Live cattle futures pulled back nearly $3 per cwt from last week's highs, so it is uncertain if the wide trading range will be sustained, leaving the market in sideways pattern, or if March lows will be tested through the end of the month. More stories are surfacing about the number of cattle lost in the flooding and severe winter blizzards, butisn't creating a significant overall market impact yet. Even though these losses have a dramatic impact on local and regional areas and are devastating to producers, the fact that losses are not widespread is likely to minimize the overall impact on futures trade. Cash cattle markets remain undeveloped, although a few token packer bids may start to surface on Wednesday. It is likely that trade will be delayed until sometime Thursday or Friday.
Mixed trade is expected to once again develop with underlying firmness in the lean hog trade based on long-term demand and export expectations. Even though little new news is available, traders remain hopeful and optimistic that trade talks with China will bring about not only results, but more specific information about what an overall trade agreement will look like when it comes to moving U.S. pork to China. This can also be a double-edged sword, as recent emotional support has built this relationship up and helped to move prices where they are currently, so anything but stellar news could eventually limit follow-through support. Cash hog values are expected to redevelop steady to $2 per cwt higher with most bids $1 per cwt higher Wednesday morning. Expected slaughter Wednesday is at 477,000 head. Saturday runs are expected at 146,000 head.
BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1)
Underlying beef demand continues to firm as traders focus on the upcoming spring and summer "grilling season." Given the long, cold winter in many areas, any sense of warmer weather may spark increased overall consumer interest in the next couple of weeks.
1)
The inability to hold last week's market highs in live cattle and feeder cattle trade is causing concern that the $130 price level, which has held for over a year, may be unattainable at this point, and prices may continue to hover between the $120 and $130 per cwt levels long term.
2)
Beef values have continued to firm once again following mixed market movements last week. The focus on increased movement and domestic demand support is likely to help support trade through the end of the month.
2)
Feeder cattle futures have fallen nearly $3 per cwt in the last couple of trading sessions, as concerns of increased available cattle moving into feedyards through the spring and summer is derailing previous market support.
3)
Strong futures support in spot April futures has sparked increased overall buyer interest, moving prices to new contract highs, and opening the door for price levels above $80 per cwt in the April market.
3)
Firm pressure through the week in summer lean hog contracts has limited overall support concerning China trade deals. The fact that support was limited in May through October trade is pointing to uncertainty at current market levels.
4)
Firm support in cash and wholesale pork values will continue with further sales activity to China.
4)The looming threat that African swine fever may continue to spread to North America continues to keep the entire complex on edge. This would quickly shift the focus away from providing pork for other countries, and significantly affect production levels domestically.

#completeherdhealth

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Tuesday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Cattle Futures Continue to Move Lower

GENERAL COMMENTS: Moderate-to-firm pressure quickly developed throughout the livestock trade, although select contracts managed to move higher. Deferred feeder cattle contracts posted triple-digit losses following increased pressure in live cattle trade. Cash cattle markets remained at a complete standstill with no sign of asking prices or bids at this point in the week. Limited interest is expected to be seen over the next couple of days, but this may keep traders from making deals until sometime Friday. The National Daily Direct afternoon hog report was unreported due to packer submission issues at this time. Corn futures were higher in light activity with May up 2 1/2 cents per bushel. The Dow Jones Index was 140 points higher with the Nasdaq up 53 points.

LIVE CATTLE: Light pressure eroded buyer interest as traders tested recent market lows. Futures closed $0.12 to $0.77 lower. Limited direction developed Tuesday as traders tired to find a sense of support. Beef demand is expected to continue to firm through the summer, but with traders backing away from nearby highs, the sense of market support has disappeared. Nearby contracts traded 40 to 70 cents per cwt lower Tuesday, with more direction placed on outside market shifts as well as upcoming cash trade. Beef cutouts were not available due to reporting issues.

WEDNESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady. Asking prices and bids are yet to develop for the week. Although this is not unexpected for a Tuesday, it will likely delay any significant activity until late in the week.

FEEDER CATTLE: Weakness developed in feeder cattle trade late Tuesday as live cattle futures slid lower. Feeder cattle futures settled mixed, $1.35 lower to $0.57 higher. Limited buyer interest slowly moved through nearby feeder cattle futures with lightly traded March holding a 57-cent gain. Limited buying early in the session kept deferred contracts under pressure. Summer and fall contracts posted triple-digit losses based on potential late placements in feed yards. CME cash feeder index for 3/251 is $142.04, up $0.24.

LEAN HOGS: The spot-month lean hog contract found support on potential export demand, but support was inconsistent through the rest of the complex. Futures closed mixed, $0.22 lower to $1.07 higher. Spot-month April closed at $79.72 per cwt following a strong $1.07-per-cwt rally. Rumors that China would actively buy U.S. pork through the rest of the year sparked support throughout the lean hog trade early Tuesday. But May through October futures faltered through the day as traders were not able to sustain market interest. Even though most summer contracts were stable, the ability to hold prices at or near contract highs continues to spark renewed interest through the entire complex. Pork cutout values are unreported at this time due to reporting issues. CME cash lean index for 3/22 is $64.97, up $2.56. DTN Projected lean index for 3/25: $67.13, up $2.16.


WEDNESDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady to $2 higher. Continued cash market support is expected to redevelop midweek, although the lack of aggressive futures trade may curb the intensity of cash buying activity over the next couple of days. Wednesday slaughter is expected at 477,000 head. Saturday runs are expected at 146,000 head.

#completecalfcare

Tuesday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Mixed Price Shifts Leave Markets Unsettled

General Comments

Mixed trade has developed across livestock trade with April lean hog trade pushing $1 per cwt higher in limited activity. The hope and expectation that any trade deal with China would spark aggressive buyer support is helping to limit pressure in the complex. Corn futures are higher in sluggish trade. May corn futures are 1 3/4 cent lower. Stock markets are higher in light trade. Dow Jones is 86 points higher with Nasdaq up 42 points.

LIVE CATTLE:
Follow-through pressure quickly moved through the entire complex with nearby contracts steady to 20 cents lower with more aggressive pressure developing through fall contract months. The concern that the recent announcement of increased cattle on feed will not only skew the overall supply level of beef through the rest of the year. But the growing concern is if this trend of larger placements will continue through the rest of the year, and further erode overall buyer activity through the complex. Cash markets are undeveloped with bids and asking prices still unavailable. This is not surprising, as bids are not likely to be seen until late in the day or potentially Wednesday. Most trade will likely be pushed off to the second half of the week, and potentially Friday. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $0.54 higher (select) and up $0.69 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 64 total loads reported (41 loads of choice cuts, 9 loads of select cuts, 5 loads of trimmings, 9 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE:
Mixed feeder cattle trade has developed with the complex a mixture of nearby verses deferred trade direction through the morning. This is holding March and April prices 15 to 67 cents per cwt higher, while all other trade is under pressure, falling 50 cents per cwt based on pressure in live cattle trade. The underlying pressure seen Monday has slowed significantly as traders try to establish more stable market shifts due to emotions being held in check. This could add some additional moderate swings through the near future, although traders seem to look back to fundamental support through the end of the month before aggressively moving back to the complex.

LEAN HOGS:
Strong underlying support moved back into the lean hog complex with April futures sparking renewed gains with a $1 per cwt developing following a morning filled with narrowly mixed price shifts. This may continue to spark some underlying gains based on the expectation that domestic and export demand will continue to solidify through the next several of months. But there is little if any official indication that continued sales to China will keep stimulating the market. But for the most part, there seems to be a strong expectation from all parties that this demand growth to China will help to solidify buyer activity. Cash prices are unreported at this time on the National Direct morning cash hog report. Cash prices are unreported at this time on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. Pork values continue to firm as steady to active buying is moving through the complex. Pork cutouts gained $1.10 per cwt at $81.30 per cwt with 243 loads traded. Lean hog index for 3/22 is $64.97, up $2.56, with a projected two-day index is $67.13, up $2.16.

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Tuesday Morning Livestock Market Summary - Cattle Trade Looking for Support

GENERAL COMMENTS:

Cash cattle trade activity is expected to remain sluggish through most of the week with bids and asking prices undeveloped Monday. Showlists are generally larger with Texas the only region posting lighter offerings for the week. Bids and asking prices may not develop until late Tuesday or Wednesday, with trade likely to be pushed off to the end of the week. Strong price pressure ratcheted markets back from the top edge of the trading range following increased cattle on feed numbers. Although the increase in placements and overall on feed numbers is not likely enough to push prices lower in itself, the uneasiness through the entire livestock complex added to the overall market pressure. Early trade is expected to remain under pressure, although nearby contracts are expected to still hold short-term support levels, allowing markets to hover in the currently wide sideways pattern in the next couple of weeks.

Strong pressure developed through the lean hog complex with traders pulling away from contracts highs. The volatility in Friday's market lead to additional underlying pressure through the entire complex. Deferred lean hog futures were impacted by the lack of follow-through support in the complex, allowing for increased overall weakness and triple-digit losses. April futures have held onto moderate gains, with a 32-cent price bounce in late-day trade. This allowed for increased overall stability in spot trade, while the rest of the complex remains under light pressure, but still sustaining a generally bullish market direction. Cash hog values are expected to redevelop steady to $2 per cwt higher with most bids $1 per cwt higher Monday morning. Expected slaughter Tuesday is at 477,000 head.


BULL SIDE BEAR SIDE
1)
Summer and winter live cattle trade still remains well above 40- and 100-day moving averages, despite the strong triple-digit pullback in price levels. This continues to spark underlying buyer activity in the complex.
1)
Live cattle futures have turned lower, breaking the two-week market surge in the complex. This could add follow-through pressure in the complex.
2)
Seasonal beef demand is expected to pick up through the spring and summer, with increased temperatures and outdoor grilling activity making up for lost time over the cold winter and spring.
2)
Beef values continue to add uncertainty to the complex with narrowly mixed trade developing across the entire complex. This could limit follow-through support through the near future.
3)
Aggressive buyer support continues to flood into cash hog trade. This continues to spark increased underlying support in the entire complex, maintaining buyer interest in futures trade.
3)
Strong pressure in deferred lean hog trade has added to the lack of support in the hog complex. This has the potential to pull prices lower in the near future, limiting underlying buyer support in the entire complex.
4)
Pork values have continued to surge higher with increased overall buyer interest in the entire complex. Expected strong demand growth is sparking widespread primal market price support.
4) Little details concerning overall export market support the last couple of weeks is adding increased overall pressure to the entire complex.

#completeherdhealth

Monday, March 25, 2019

Monday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Cattle Futures End Lower

GENERAL COMMENTS: Strong pressure developed throughout livestock trade following continued weakness in lean hog futures Monday. Cattle trade softened on increased placements in February. Cash cattle activity was undeveloped following generally smaller trade levels late last week. Bids and asking prices were not available and may not be active until midweek. Showlist distribution and inventory-taking were the main activities Monday. Showlists appear generally larger. Offerings increased in Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas, but decreased in Texas. It is likely to be the last half of the week again before active trade develops. The National Daily Direct afternoon hog report was $2.55 higher ($60-$74, weighted average $68.82) on 7,248 head sold. Corn futures were higher in light activity with May up 1 1/2 cents per bushel. The Dow Jones Index was 14 points higher while the Nasdaq was down 5 points.

LIVE CATTLE: Nearby live cattle futures saw triple-digit losses Monday. Overall, futures closed $0.40 to $2.35 lower. All spring and summer contracts were $2 per cwt lower at closing bell. The softness in feeder cattle trade, combined with an increased number of cattle on feed, added uncertainty to the market, which already seemed to be teetering toward a pullback. Additional softness could be seen throughout the cattle complex, although live cattle futures are expected to hover within the same sideways pattern seen over the last couple of months. Beef cut-outs: mixed, up $0.09 (select, $218.73) to down $0.09 (choice, $229.09) with light demand and light-to-moderate offerings of 109 loads (70 loads of choice cuts, 17 loads of select cuts, 6 load of trimmings, 16 loads of coarse grinds).

TUESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady. Limited interest is expected Tuesday with bids and asking prices most likely not seen until Wednesday or later.

FEEDER CATTLE: The feeder cattle market was also under pressure Monday as traders focused on increased cattle placements. Futures closed $0.82 to $2.60 lower. Though the market was generally steady through most of the morning, strong pressure developed late in the day as traders focused on larger-than-expected placements and the pullback in lean hog trade. This pushed most contracts to triple-digit losses. CME cash feeder index for 3/21 is $141.02, up $1.90.

LEAN HOGS: Traders tried to find some stability in the lean hogs market, resulting in a mixed close of $1.45 lower to $$0.32 higher. Strong buyer support was seen early as traders moved back into the complex, but the support slowly eroded as deferred losses became more evident. Although the lean hog trade is expected to firm through the end of the spring and summer and growing pork demand is likely to firm cash markets, traders are quickly pulling back from previously aggressive gains. Wholesale pork values saw triple-digit gains in most primal cuts. Pork cutout values added $2.41 per cwt, moving to $80.20 per cwt on 243 loads. CME cash lean index for 3/20 is $60.75, up $1.53. DTN Projected lean index for 3/21 $62.41, up $1.66.


TUESDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady to $2 higher. Moderate-to-firm bids are expected again Tuesday morning with most bids $1 to $1.50 per cwt higher as continued cash buying develops. Tuesday slaughter is expected at 477,000 head.

#completecalfcare

Monday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Uniform Price Pressure Seen

General Comments
Firm losses continue to hold through the entire livestock complex. Despite moderate early gains in lean hog trade, the inability to bring consistent buyer interest back into the market has allowed prices to soften through morning trade. Cattle trader remains under pressure based on increased cattle placement levels last month, creating underlying supply concerns. Corn futures are higher in sluggish trade. May corn futures are 1 1/2 cent higher. Stock markets are lower in light trade. Dow Jones is 50 points lower with Nasdaq down 24 points.
LIVE CATTLE:
Triple-digit losses have moved through nearby live cattle trade Monday morning as traders assess feedlot growth through the month of February and how this will affect short- and long-term supplies. The inability to show consistent support in boxed beef values through the last week is causing some uncertainty through the entire market. April live cattle futures are leading the complex lower with a $1.35 per cwt. Even though moderate losses are likely to hold through the near term, prices are expected to continue to hover within the sideways $3 per cwt trading range seen over the last month. The inability to push prices above $130 per cwt at the end of last week continues to cap price levels at this point. Cash cattle activity remains sluggish with inventory taking and show list distribution likely to spark additional interest through the rest of the week. At this point, bids and asking prices are not expected to be seen until midweek with trade likely to be pushed off to the last half of the week. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $0.69 higher (select) and down $0.27 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 32 total loads reported (18 loads of choice cuts, 9 loads of select cuts, no loads of trimmings, 6 loads of ground beef).
FEEDER CATTLE:
Light to moderate losses have moved through cattle futures with April thorough November contracts holding uniform losses of 60 to 70 cents per cwt. The early-morning pressure based on increased February cattle placements posted triple-digit losses. But the inability for traders to contain the same level of bearishness through the morning is allowing buyers to slowly trickle back into the market based on expectations of firming demand through the upcoming weeks and months.
LEAN HOGS:
Early-market support has slowly eroded through the morning Monday with April contracts the only futures contract holding gains at midday, with a 20-cent gain holding midday. The remainder of the complex has started to back away from previous gains despite early-morning support. Deferred contracts have been hit the hardest, with losses of $1 to $2.25 per cwt seen in late 2019 and early 2020 contracts. The emotional support that has driven the market aggressively higher, is starting to fade, allowing traders to assess realistic fundamental moves over the near future. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.04 at $66.23 per cwt with the range from $60.00 to $69.00, on 3,935 head reported sold. Cash prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. Pork values have posted continued support with firm early week primal gains leading to additional support through the entire market. Pork cutouts gained $1.21 per cwt at $79.00 per cwt with 121 loads traded. Lean hog index for 3/21 is $62.41, up $1.66, with a projected two-day index is $64.97, up $2.56.

#completecalfcare

Monday Morning Livestock Market Summary - Limited Volume Likely

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Early cattle trade is expected to be mixed to moderately lower with traders having the weekend to assess Friday's Cattle on Feed report. Feeder cattle trade is expected to be the most focused on the market following total placements through the month of February at 102%. This is a 6% jump from pre-report estimates and is expected to be viewed generally bearish through the overall complex. Cattle on feed numbers came in at 101% year-ago levels, still 1% over estimates. This is not expected to create a significant long-term shift in overall supply levels but could quickly cool the buyer support recently in feeder cattle trade the last couple of weeks. Cash cattle trade is expected to remain unchanged with limited interest Monday following the firming cash cattle price late last week. Showlist distribution and inventory taking is expected to be the main focus through the cash markets early in the week.
Early mixed trade is expected Monday following a volatile shift late last week that quickly broke markets out of the emotionally charged limit gains the past few days. With lean hog futures still trading at contract highs, the focus on continued strong fundamental and technical support remains well rooted through the entire complex. But the fact that this most recent market rally has been so emotionally driven, the potential for a strong market retraction still exists. Given the unchecked market rally through the month of March, there continues to be growing nervousness about the ability to sustain this type of market momentum, or price support through the rest of the spring. Cash hog values are expected to redevelop steady to $2 per cwt higher with most bids $1 per cwt higher Monday morning. Expected slaughter Monday is at 477,000 head.
BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1)
Strong cash cattle trade Friday developed with prices $1 to $4 per cwt higher than the previous week. This is helping to solidify additional buyer support through the entire complex.
1)
Feeder cattle placements in the month of February surged higher, with 102% year-ago levels placed in yards. This is well above estimates but also exceeded the expected range.
2)
Continued long-term beef market support is expected, helping to focus traders attention on upcoming summer demand and the ability to meet these demands with generally stable cattle supplies.
2)
Lack of active gains last week in wholesale beef values has created some additional questions if follow-through support will continue through the end of the month. This could lead to a moderate pullback in live cattle and feeder cattle trade.
3)
Continued strong gains in pork cutout values through the end of last week has helped to solidify demand needs as pork prices have continued to escalate higher based on growing domestic and export demand.
3)
Lean hog futures quickly broke away from limit gains Friday, creating increased uncertainty about short-term direction in the emotionally led market rally. This could open the door for aggressive selling in the next couple of trading sessions.
4)
Active cash buying continues to develop through the month of March with cash market moves of $1 to $2 per cwt expected to return early in the week. The need to secure needed end-of-month procurement numbers is expected to add increased underlying support to the entire complex.
4)Limited new information surrounding any details of a trade agreement with China is causing uncertainty as talks are expected to take place this week in China.


#completecalfcare

Friday, March 22, 2019

Friday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Uncertainty Sweeps Through Hog Trade

GENERAL COMMENTS: Livestock futures traded in a wide range Friday. Lean hogs futures moved from early limit gains to aggressive losses through the morning, but stability returned Friday afternoon and prices settled mixed at closing bell. Cattle markets were also affected by the volatility in lean hogs. From Friday to Friday, livestock futures scored the following changes: Apr LC up $0.63; Jun LC up $1.58; Mar FC up $1.68; Apr FC up $1.88; Apr LH up $9.53; May LH up $9.13. Cash cattle trade started to slowly develop Friday with trade extending into late afternoon and potentially Friday evening. The cash trade that has developed so far is seen at $128 to $129 live basis, which is $1 to $2 per cwt higher than last week. Dressed trade developed at $208 through the north, which is $4 per cwt higher than week-ago levels. The National Daily Direct afternoon hog report was $3.29 higher ($56-$71.50, weighted average $66.44) on 6,234 head sold. Corn futures were higher in light activity with May up 2 cents per bushel. The Dow Jones Index is 460 points lower with the Nasdaq down 196 points.

LIVE CATTLE: Narrowly mixed trade left cattle markets directionless Friday ($0.40 lower to $0.40 higher). Live cattle trade struggled to find any sense of market support despite initial market gains through the complex. The lack of underlying support in beef values listed in the morning report as well as general shift in hog market direction seemed to cause most traders to hunker down and focus on market stability through the end of the week. Beef cut-outs: mixed, $0.27 higher (select, $218.64) and down $0.22 (choice, $229.09) with light demand and light to moderate offerings, 72 loads (43 loads of choice cuts, 8 loads of select cuts, 8 load of trimmings, 13 loads of coarse grinds).

MONDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady. Packers and feeders will start over Monday morning following late-day trade Friday, which pushed cash markets higher. Monday's session will be focusing on showlist distribution and inventory-taking.

FEEDER CATTLE: Early support in feeder cattle gave way to a mixed close ($0.12 lower to $1.42 higher). Nearby contracts were narrowly mixed with limited interest developing through the entire complex. The USDA Cattle on Feed report, released following the market close, is expected to limit support early next week following cattle placement levels of 102%, which was 6% above early estimates. CME cash feeder index for 3/21 is $141.02, up $1.90

LEAN HOGS: Wide price shifts left hog markets vulnerable and will likely lead to further uncertainty next week. Futures closed $1.35 lower to $1.07 higher. Sharp gains developed early Friday, as traders took advantage of another day of expanded trading limits. But once initial buying slowed, pressure quickly developed, resulting in several summer contracts traded in a $6.50- to $7-per-cwt range during the session. This may be the widest one-day market shift in the lean hog complex since expanded limits were introduced. Light buying trickled into the market late in the session, leaving futures mixed, but avoiding a disastrous meltdown at the end of the week. Continued price support moved into wholesale pork values with triple-digit gains seen in most primal cuts. Pork cutout values added $1.54 per cwt, moving to $77.79 per cwt, on 336 loads. CME cash lean index for 3/20 is $60.75, up $1.53. DTN Projected lean index for 3/21 $62.41, up $1.66.


MONDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady to $2. Firm follow-through support is expected to develop early next week despite the pullback in futures at the end of the week. Monday slaughter is expected at 477,000 head.

#completeherdhealth