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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Tuesday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Cattle Futures Stumble Late

GENERAL COMMENTS: Hog futures surged higher early Tuesday morning, but the bearish tone of livestock markets caused prices to erode. The most aggressive pressure developed in deferred contracts as traders focused on uncertain demand. Cattle futures shifted lower, following triple-digit losses in feeder cattle futures. Limited cash market interest developed Tuesday with cattle remaining untraded. A few token bids wandered through the market Tuesday afternoon at $122 to $123 per cwt live basis through the South. Asking prices in the South are starting at $126 and higher. No interest has developed at this point in the North, although this is not unusual for this time of the week. Some business may develop Wednesday, but most activity is likely to be pushed to the last couple days of the week. The National Daily Direct afternoon hog report was $0.67 higher ($71-$83.25, weighted average $80.46) on 9,465 head sold. Corn futures were higher in light trade with July up 3/4 cent per bushel. The Dow Jones Index was 8 points higher with the Nasdaq down 63 points.
LIVE CATTLE: Live cattle futures followed feeder cattle futures lower in light trade Tuesday. Futures settled $0.55 to $1.02 lower. Moderate to strong losses swept through live cattle futures near closing bell, following what appeared to be sluggish and generally stable trade most of the day. Triple-digit losses in feeder cattle affected live cattle trade at the end of April, creating additional pressure. The focus on recent market pressure and the inability of -- or lack of desire by -- noncommercial traders to step back into the complex could open the door for additional softness in early May. Beef cut-outs: mixed, $0.49 higher (select, $218.21) and down $1.30 (choice, $231.84) with moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, 123 loads (58 loads of choice cuts, 32 loads of select cuts, 17 load of trimmings, 17 loads of coarse grinds).
WEDNESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Bids and asking prices are expected to redevelop where they left off Tuesday with little interest likely early in the day. Southern trade has developed midweek in previous weeks, creating an expectation that some business may get done before the day Wednesday.
FEEDER CATTLE: Continued technical weakness pushed feeder cattle futures $1.62 to $1.95 lower. Triple-digit losses quickly moved into feeder cattle futures with May setting a contract low and August falling below $150 per cwt for the first time since early February. This abrupt turnaround in feeder cattle trade has pushed the June futures contract over $10 per cwt lower in less than two weeks. The emotional response in the complex is creating an oversold market status, but at this point, momentum to liquidate remains so great that it is going to be hard for buyers to step back into the complex. CME cash feeder index for 4/29 is $144.66, down $0.33.
LEAN HOGS: Strong late-day pressure eroded initial buyer interest. Futures closed mixed, $1.55 lower to $0.17 higher. Despite active buyer activity early Tuesday morning, traders quickly moved away from session highs as the day continued. Previous market optimism is being limited by the uncertainty surrounding a China trade deal and the prospects for continued U.S. pork exports to China through the spring and summer. The June futures contract eked out a 17-cent gain, while all other contracts closed lower. The most aggressive pressure developed in the fourth quarter of the year with triple-digit losses sweeping through October and December contracts. Continued strong production through the summer may limit upward support through the complex over the near future. Pork cutouts posted sharp losses at the end of the month following weakness in most all primal cuts. Pork cutout values fell $2.77 per cwt, moving to $82.22 per cwt on 358 loads. CME cash lean index for 4/26 is $83.46, down $0.27. DTN Projected lean index for 4/29 $83.27, down $0.19.
WEDNESDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady to $1 lower. Packers are expected to increase lower bids Wednesday morning despite strong procurement expectations through the rest of the week. There is an attempt to pull back off weekend processing schedules, and with early month interest, packers may be able to keep most bids steady to weak. Wednesday slaughter is expected at 474,000 head. Saturday runs are shaping up near 36,000 head.


#completeherdhealth

Tuesday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Pressure Redevelops in Feeder Cattle

General Comments
Moderate to strong pressure has continued in feeder cattle futures, pushing May futures to new contract lows. Sluggish moves are seen in live cattle and lean hog trade as traders are moving to the sidelines late morning. Corn futures are lower in light trade. July corn futures are 2 cents lower. Stock markets are lower in light trade. Dow Jones is 24 points lower with Nasdaq down 64 points.
LIVE CATTLE:
Extremely narrow trading ranges are seen through the complex with June futures holding a 17 cent loss in very limited trade Tuesday morning. Except for expiring April contracts, all other markets are trading 15 to 25 cents lower through midmorning. The focus on end-of-month trade is keeping most traders confined to the sidelines. This is essentially overlooking the strong pressure being seen in feeder cattle trade. But the live cattle complex will not overlook the softness in nearby feeder cattle futures for long, as increased volume is likely to develop Wednesday when traders turn the calendar to the month of May. Cash cattle interest remains sluggish with bids and asking prices still undefined. It is likely that more interest will surface Wednesday with the potential for light to moderate trade to develop midweek following previous week's patterns. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $1.35 higher (select) and down $0.86 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 65 total loads reported (31 loads of choice cuts, 19 loads of select cuts, 5 loads of trimmings, 10 loads of ground beef).
FEEDER CATTLE:
Firm follow-through pressure has continued to develop through feeder cattle trade Tuesday morning with technical weakness breaking through support levels of $150.27 per cwt in August contracts. With May contracts already at contract lows following the sharp $1.30 per cwt losses seen during the morning, traders are now focusing on the overall lack of support in other nearby contract months. Even though firming beef demand is expected, the looming questions about summer and fall feeder cattle supplies as well as trade talks with Japan continue to add uncertainty to the beef complex. At this point, most of the emphasis is on feeder cattle trade with live cattle markets still being impacted by strong current demand.
LEAN HOGS:
Limited interest is seen through the entire lean hog complex Tuesday morning as traders remain focused more on squaring positions before month end than any significant market shifts. Nearby futures remain slightly higher with June contracts holding a 12 cent gain. This is a significant shift from the strong early trade that moved into the market. Once traders covered short positions from the past couple of trading days, it appears that most business has quickly moved to the sidelines. This should allow markets to wander within a narrowly mixed range through the end of the session. Traders are likely to become more focused Wednesday as they start charting market shifts through early May. Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price added $0.81 per cwt at $80.60 per cwt with the range from $71.00 to $83.25, on 6,328 head reported sold. Cash prices are higher on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price added $1.29 per cwt at $82.08 per cwt with the range from $78.00 to $83.25, on 3,883 head reported sold. Pork values eroded at the end of the month even though trade volume remained impressive. Pork cutouts fell $1.59 per cwt at $83.40 per cwt with 203 loads traded. Lean hog index for 4/26 is $83.46 down 0.27, with a projected two-day index is $83.27 down 0.19.

#completeherdhealth

Tuesday Morning Livestock Market Summary - Price Stability Sought at End of Month

GENERAL COMMENTS: 
Cash cattle interest is expected to be limited with bids and asking prices likely unavailable through the first half of the day. This will limit any trade in all areas of cattle country until after the first of the month. With the development of Wednesday trade in the South becoming a more regular habit, it is likely that bids will either develop late Tuesday or early Wednesday. Asking prices are hard to pin down, and may remain that way through most of Tuesday, but cattle are expected to be priced near $130 live and $212 dressed. Futures activity is also likely to remain sluggish with mixed trade holding following the limited moves Monday in live cattle trade. The continued pressure in feeder cattle markets is allowing for some uncertainty concerning long-term supply levels that could further impact buyer interest in all cattle futures.
Continued pressure is likely to redevelop early Tuesday morning, although the weaker tone of the complex is going to be met by end of the month position taking as traders try to take advantage of the wide market swings and cover short positions before flipping the calendar to May. With June futures breaking through April lows of $88.50 per cwt Monday, the potential for further noncommercial liquidation is growing. The current wide trading range in the last two months is creating the potential for markets to swing within a $10 to $20 per cwt price range without sparking any major technical factors. Cash trade is called $1 lower to $1 higher Tuesday morning with most bids steady to 50 cents lower. Expected slaughter Tuesday is at 477,000 head.
BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1) Firm underlying support in beef cutout values is helping to solidify overall demand. Choice cuts continue to expand the premium over Select markets, holding at $233.14 per cwt Monday.1) Continued triple-digit losses in feeder cattle trade has eroded open interest in the entire cattle complex. This is leading to additional liquidation of commercial and noncommercial interest through late April.
2) The potential for moderate-to-strong buyer support moving into all nearby live cattle trade is growing with trades viewing the current complex as oversold given the $8 per cwt liquidation the last several trading sessions.2) Underlying weaker tones early in the week through futures trade is expected to limit the ability for feedlot managers to command steady-to-higher prices through the end of the week.
3) Despite strong pressure in futures trade, pork fundamentals remain strong. Wholesale pork prices have shown increased support with firm gains developing in several primal cuts the last couple of days.3) June lean hog futures has broken through April lows, and short term support levels. This leaves the next level of support near $75 per cwt set in early March, creating additional uncertainty through the complex.
4) The fact that African swine fever has devastated hog herds in China continues to be the major focus, and despite a pullback in prices, still leaves the need to replace pork lost by lower hog numbers. This will continue to be a bullish theme through the entire year.4) Cash hog bids are starting to show increased pressure as packers put more emphasis on reduced spending due to reduced margins the past several weeks.

#completeherdhealth

Monday, April 29, 2019

Monday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Market Weakness Continues

GENERAL COMMENTS: Market losses quickly developed in lean hog trade Monday morning as traders back away from previous highs. Although firm demand growth is likely through the end of the year, traders are trying to regain perspective following the recent unchecked market rally. Corn futures are higher in light trade. July futures added 1/2 cent per bushel. Dow Jones Index is 11 points higher with Nasdaq up 15 points.
CASH MARKETS: Cash cattle interest remains at a standstill with bids and asking prices undeveloped. Given trade in the South has developed on Wednesday each of the last four weeks, it is a strong possibility that additional interest will be seen midweek in the South and likely later in the week through the North. Showlists are generally larger during the week, which may allow for additional market activity when cash markets develop in the first couple days of May. National Daily Direct afternoon hog report is $0.13 higher with a weighted average of $79.38 per cwt. Full range of $72.00 to $83.25 per cwt on 6,617 head sold.
LIVE CATTLE: Sluggish trade activity leaves prices mixed ($0.60 lower to $0.22 higher). Limited interest is seen in live cattle futures for the second straight trading session. The underlying pressure in feeder cattle trade had little impact on the direction of the live cattle market, which posted 10 to 30 cent losses in most nearby contracts. More aggressive losses developed in late 2019 and early 2020 contract months with traders focusing on the underlying pressure in feeder cattle trade and wanting to align live cattle prices with the falling price levels. Beef cut-outs: mixed, $1.69 lower (select, $217.72) and up $0.15 (choice, $233.14) with good demand and heavy offerings, 106 loads (41 loads of choice cuts, 26 loads of select cuts, 26 load of trimmings, 13 loads of coarse grinds).
TUESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Bids and asking prices are still undeveloped early in the week with little interest expected most of Tuesday. Trade is not expected until midweek or later with prices potentially steady with last week.
FEEDER CATTLE: Firm pressure developed in late day trade ($0.55 to $1.77 lower). Despite limited early activity where prices remained mixed, firm pressure quickly moved in the feeder cattle complex late morning Monday. August futures led the complex lower with a $1.77 per cwt loss, as traders continue to search for any sign of support in the recent market freefall. August futures closed at $151.07 per cwt, just above March lows of $150.27 per cwt. A move below these levels would set 2019 lows and likely set an even weaker market tone across the entire complex. Feeder cattle futures have fallen over $8 per cwt in less than a week, allowing for long-term concerns of growing cattle supplies to take root across the complex. CME cash feeder index for 4/26 is $145.19 up $0.95.
LEAN HOGS: Firm pressure held in most contracts Monday as continued underlying pressure is causing concerns of further market weakness ($2.22 lower to $0.32 higher). Early losses swept through lean hog trade with traders focusing on follow through pressure after last week's price tumble. Even though traders continue to focus on pork movement heading to China, the overall lack of consistent week after week selling has brought some reality to the overly aggressive market. Prices have pulled back more than $10 per cwt from recent highs, but remains $13 per cwt above prices during early March. It is expected that buyer support will soon develop following the most recent correction and prices may continue to shift higher and lower through the end of the week based on results of Thursday's export sales report. Pork cutouts continue higher despite pressure in futures trade. Pork cutout values added $0.72 per cwt, moving to $84.99 per cwt on 253 loads. CME cash lean index for 4/25 is $83.73, up $0.33. DTN Projected lean index for 4/26 $83.46, down $0.27.
TUESDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: $1 lower to $1 higher. Limited interest is expected following the additional pressure in futures trade. Packers continue to look for market ready hogs but are not willing to chase prices higher in order to get them through the end of the month. Tuesday slaughter is expected at 477,000 head.


#completecalfcare

Monday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Hog Prices Continue Lower

General Comments
Weakness has continued to develop through lean hog futures with early $1 to $2 per cwt losses slowly eroding in most contracts through the morning. Cattle futures remain mixed in a narrow to moderate range Monday with limited direction seen in live cattle futures. Corn futures are higher in light trade. July corn futures are 2 cents higher. Stock markets are higher in light trade. Dow Jones is 21 points higher with Nasdaq up 14 points.
LIVE CATTLE:
Narrow trading ranges are seen through the entire complex with prices hovering on either side of unchanged. June futures remain mixed at midday with traders treading water through the end of the month without any major news developing over the next couple of days. Following the strong market pullback over the last week, traders see very little incentive to push prices lower based on firm fundamental demand likely to develop through the next couple of months. Cash cattle activity is quiet with bids and asking prices undeveloped. Show list distribution is the main focus Monday morning. Trade is expected to be pushed off until at least midweek. With the month ending Tuesday, there seems little interest in trading cash cattle yet in April. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are unreported.
FEEDER CATTLE:
Initial mixed trade seen in feeder cattle followed the limited direction in live cattle trade. But market pressure has built through late morning with August prices falling an addition $1.35 per cwt at midday. This overall lack of support through the complex may continue to add increased pressure to the already weak complex. With potential supply issues of feeder cattle moving into feedyards through the rest of the summer, additional support may be hard to find. Noncommercial pressure may continue to develop following the pullback of open interest in most cattle markets.
LEAN HOGS:
Firm pressure has continued to move through lean hog trade with initial strong pressure quickly pushing prices $1 to $2 per cwt lower due to limited volume. As more traders entered the market, prices moderated slightly with most contracts 60 cents to $1 per cwt lower at midday. Limited buyer support has pushed late month contracts slightly higher due to the inability to bring more liquidation to the complex. Traders remain focused on potential Chinese demand, and this could spark some additional underlying movements through the entire complex, although market stability needs to be seen before any aggressive buyer interest will step into the complex. 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. Lean hog index for 4/24 is $83.73 up 0.33, with a projected two-day index is $83.46 down 0.27.

#completeherdhealth

Cattle preconditioning programs add to bottom line

Extension specialists describe how preconditioning programs add to cow/calf operation's bottom line and improve return on investment.


Cattle producers looking to improve their return on investment (ROI) should consider preconditioning calves before taking them to market, extension specialists told attendees at a recent University of Arkansas Livestock & Forestry Station field day.
The field day, “Improve Your Odds for ROI,” featured a look at Arkansas’ new preconditioning program, GoGREEN, and examined how preconditioning adds to producers’ bottom lines. Additionally, cattle genetics expert offered specifics on pregnancy detection and the benefits of a defined breeding season, the University of Arkansas said in an announcement.
Preconditioning
Preconditioning is a collection of best management practices meant to make calves healthier and heavier by the time they go to market, the specialists said, explaining that preconditioning includes vaccination, ridding calves of internal and external parasites and making sure they are fully healed from dehorning and castration. This also include ensuring that calves understand how to eat from a bunker and drink from water tanks.
Shane Gadberry, professor and extension ruminant nutrition specialist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said preconditioning also means handling calves so they aren’t afraid of people and can be approached to receive medical care, if needed.
“The one thing that makes preconditioning easy is having a controlled breeding and calving season,” Gadberry said. “It’s a lot easier to implement a preconditioning program when most calves are born and weaned around the same time -- either once or twice a year.”
“I believe preconditioning is the apex, the pinnacle of cow/calf management,” University of Missouri Extension state beef nutritionist Eric Bailey said.
“The majority of the value of a preconditioning program is not in the premium at sale,” he said. “The bottom line to an individual cow/calf producer is that you sell more pounds of beef.”
Bailey pointed to research showing that preconditioning can help lower the chances of a calf contracting bovine respiratory disease, which typically results in a 75% feedlot mortality rate. Those losses amount to $2 billion a year.
A study of 11 years of preconditioning on a single farm found that the average profit per head was $68.95, with 63% of that profit due to additional pounds sold, he said.
In answer to an audience question, Bailey emphasized that preconditioning isn’t a matter of using just one tool from a toolbox. “You can’t outrun bad management with a bottle,” Bailey said. “Vaccines aren’t the guarantee you’re going to have performance from these animals. Consider the whole system; vaccines are just a component of a preconditioning system.”
Bailey also cautioned that preconditioning is a commitment. “Get your cow/calf management right before you attempt to dive blindly into preconditioning,” he said. “If you’re not there yet, get with your county agent.”
Arkansas program
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service rolled out its GoGREEN preconditioning program in 2018. Gadberry discussed how timing for calving can affect prices producers receive at market if they immediately sell calves as six-month-old weanlings.
Pointing to a graph showing steer price fluctuations throughout the year, Gadberry noted that prices were the “lowest in fall, because we produce a lot of calves in the spring. It’s sheer supply relative to the demand.”
Gadberry recommended retaining calves for an additional 60 days after weaning in order to add weight to them.
“As we add weight, we’re adding dollars,” he said. “In recent years, we’ve seen market prices increase from May to July. Producers with fall-born calves often wean in May. Holding those calves a couple of months, when grass is usually abundant, can add dollars to the bottom line.”
Feeding for gain
Oklahoma State University beef cattle extension specialist Paul Beck presented research that pointed to the use of cool annual forages to promote calf weight gain in the fall and spring.
Compared to fescue or hay and supplements of mixed feeds, “wheat pastures offer us a unique resource with some great potential for weight gains,” he said. “It’s a cheaper and more profitable option for growing purchased or retained stocker calves.”
Breeding, calving
Charles Looney, extension cattle genetic specialist for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, emphasized the bottom-line benefits of moving to a defined breeding and calving season.
“I grew up on a farm that had calves all year,” he said. “Calving all year is not what is best. What is most cost effective is for vaccinating and deworming to be done on all calves at the same time instead of individually.”
Looney said ranchers needed to look at testing the reproductive tract soundness of both heifers and bulls, especially with research showing a $22 return on every dollar spent on breeding soundness testing.


#completeherdhealth



Monday Morning Livestock Market Summary - Mixed Cattle Trade Likely Early

GENERAL COMMENTS: 
Cattle futures are expected mixed in limited early-week activity following additional late-week pressure. The strong turn last week sparked additional technical pressure through the complex that started to erode noncommercial support that had been building in the live cattle and feeder cattle trade through most of the spring. Little to no changes have yet developed in the fundamental direction of cattle trade, but at this point, traders are focusing on breaking away from recent market highs as they look for additional longer-term direction through the rest of the summer. Following mixed cash cattle trade last week, the focus Monday will be on inventory taking and showlist distribution. This is likely to push any cash business out to midweek or later.
Light to moderate follow-through pressure is expected early Monday morning following the slide of nearly $10 per cwt through the last half of April. Despite continued issues with African swine fever in China, traders have quickly pulled back from the over-aggressive nature early in the month. Some additional market adjustments are expected that will continue to keep markets volatile. But the overall lack of new information about either swine fever or a trade agreement with China will keep markets in limbo and generally weak in the near future. Cash trade is called $1 lower to $1 higher Monday morning with most bids steady to 50 cents lower. Expected slaughter Monday is at 475,000 head.
BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1) Continued seasonal support is expected to help to solidify fundamental buyer activity through the cattle complex over the next several weeks.1) The continued pressure late last week pushed June live cattle futures to $115 per cwt. This is the lowest price level since November in June contracts, as traders continue to quickly back away from spring market highs.
2) The recent sharp losses of over $7 per cwt in June live cattle futures is creating the opportunity to cover positions at the end of the month. This could allow for additional wide market shifts due to the extremely active open interest still holding through the complex.2) Firm pressure continuing in late 2019 contracts focus on the expectation that overall supply of cattle in feed yards will continue to grow. This is expected to overshadow the bullish expectations on demand in the last several months.
3) Pork cutout values bounced higher at the end of last week, still putting the focus on the ability to aggressively move pork products through the domestic market. This will continue to add a sense of stability to cash and futures prices in the next couple of months.3) Strong underlying pressure through the end of the week is expected to limit any buyer interest in the last two days of April. This may continue to add increased pressure to the complex as noncommercial interest is quickly eroding.
4) Trades will continue to look forward to Thursday's Export Sales report with expectations of additional buying interest from China. This could quickly reverse a portion of recent losses as traders still expect additional product movement into the China market in the next several months.4) Recent pressure in packer margins is starting to cause many packers to aggressively focus on lowering overall spending limits for market-ready hogs. This may lead them to cut procurement levels during early May in order to avoid additional spending.


#completeherdhealth

Friday, April 26, 2019

Friday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Livestock Futures End Mixed in Light Trade

GENERAL COMMENTS: Limited trade activity was seen in livestock markets Friday following the sharp triple-digit losses seen early in the week. Futures remained mixed through most of the session as traders took advantage of the limited volume. From Friday to Friday, livestock futures scored the following changes: Jun live cattle down $0.33; May feeder cattle up $0.40; Aug feeder cattle down $0.40; Jun lean hogs down $1.03; Jun lean hogs down $1.03. Cash cattle trade remained quiet Friday following trade in the South on Wednesday and North through the day Thursday. Although totals are not fully available, overall trade is expected to have been moderate to fairly active by the end of the week. Prices in the South were seen mostly $126 to $127 with prices steady to $1 higher. Northern trade were seen at $127 live and $204 to $205 dressed. This was $3 to $4 per cwt lower than week-ago levels. The National Daily Direct afternoon hog report was $1.33 lower ($72-$84, weighted average of $79.62) on 4,985 head sold. Corn futures were higher in light trade with July up 4 cents per bushel. The Dow Jones Index was 38 points higher with Nasdaq up 16 points.

LIVE CATTLE: Live cattle futures stabilized Friday, closing $0.47 lower to $0.50 higher. Futures moved back and forth in a narrow-to-moderate range throughout the day. April gained 50 cents per cwt in limited trade. Other contracts were down 27 to 47 cents per cwt as early buyer support was unable to hold through the end of the week. Traders' efforts to cover short positions failed to spark buying late in the session, resulting in uncertainty about market moves next week. Beef cut-outs: mixed, $0.17 lower (select, $219.58) to up $0.21 (choice, $233.14) with light-to-moderate demand and offerings, 89 loads (52 loads of choice cuts, 21 loads of select cuts, no load of trimmings, 16 loads of coarse grinds).

MONDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Interest is expected to remain sluggish early in the week with showlist distribution and inventory-taking the priorities Monday. Bids and asking prices are not likely until midweek or later.

FEEDER CATTLE: Feeder cattle futures closed mixed, $0.47 lower to $0.40 higher. The limited buying activity that moved through cattle trade and the feeder cattle complex Friday had a bigger impact than actual price moves, as traders seemed to willingly break away from the sharp downward market shift seen during the week. Although volume was sluggish Friday, increased buyer activity could be seen early next week. However, prices are likely to hold within the lower end of the trading range. CME cash feeder index for 4/26 is $144.24, down $0.72.

LEAN HOGS: Firm pressure in the lean hog trade Friday added to an already weak market structure. Futures settled mixed, $1.45 lower to $0.37 higher. Mixed trade was seen during the session with nearby contracts slowly eroding throughout the day. This added pressure to the market, which has fallen over $10 per cwt in the last two weeks. Even though long-term support is expected, the lack of certainty on a China trade deal and future pork purchases by China looms over the market. Prices have pulled away from previous gains, but the market still remains nearly $15 per cwt over levels before China started buying U.S. pork in early March. Pork cutouts posted limited gains as primal cuts remained volatile, posting triple-digit shifts in either direction Friday. Pork cutout values added $0.55 per cwt, moving to $84.27 per cwt on 329 loads. CME cash lean index for 4/25 is $83.40, up $0.61. DTN Projected lean index for 4/26: $83.73, up $0.33.


MONDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: $1 lower to $1 higher. Limited direction is expected through cash hog trade early in the week with packers continuing to focus on finding market-ready hogs. Most bids are expected to remain steady to weak following the recent softness in futures trade. Monday slaughter is expected at 475,000 head.


#completeherdhealth

Friday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Limited Volume Keeps Prices Mixed

General Comments
Limited activity is seen Friday morning as traders try to gingerly step into the complex following aggressive losses through the last couple of days. Mixed trade is seen across the complex as traders focusing more on end-of-the week positioning and short-covering activity than on finding additional market direction. Corn futures are higher in light trade. July corn futures are 5 cents higher. Stock markets are higher in light trade. Dow Jones is 23 points lower with Nasdaq up 2 points.

LIVE CATTLE:
Limited morning trade is keeping live cattle futures stuck in a narrowly mixed trading range. Nearby futures re holding prices steady to 30 cents lower, while nearby trade is posting limited gains. The underlying weaker tone seen through the week continues to hold, although traders see very little incentive to continue to push prices lower given overall fundamental structure and expected beef demand is not nearly as bearish as recent technical shifts indicate. Traders are comfortable remaining on the sidelines through the end of the week with limited positioning being done. The focus early next week will be on the ability to stabilize on recent market levels and build support from current price levels. Cash cattle trade appears to be wrapped up for the week following light to moderate trade in the South Wednesday and moderate to active trade through the North Thursday. Bids are undeveloped although asking prices on any cattle left on Showlists appear to be $128 and higher live and $206 to $207 dressed. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are lower, $0.79 lower (select) and down $0.03 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 43 total loads reported (27 loads of choice cuts, 10 loads of select cuts, no loads of trimmings, 6 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE:
Buyers are stepping back into the complex Friday morning, but the underlying tone of the market remains weak after sharp losses during the week. Most of the upward market ticks have been driven by end-of-week short covering. May futures are leading the complex higher with a 90 cent rally midday while traders have struggled to gain additional market volume in order to solidify higher price levels through the end of the week. Limited volume is likely early next week with end-of-month positioning likely to develop Monday and Tuesday.

LEAN HOGS:
A weak undertone remains well rooted in lean hog trade despite the initial bounce higher Friday morning. Nearby contracts are trading steady to $1 per cwt lower as concerns of longer-term trade volume to China may add even more pressure on the entire hog complex. There are still expectations that pork demand will improve and that China will be a major player in the next year. But given the lack of sales last week, the reality that China being a constant and consistent player in the pork market quickly hit home. It is uncertain just how much weekly or monthly sales traders will consider "enough" to stabilize the market over the coming weeks. But it is very clear that market participants will not look fondly on a week with no sales. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $1.79 per cwt at $79.16 per cwt with the range from $72.00 to $84.00, on 3,886 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $3.46 per cwt at $78.82 per cwt with the range from $74.00 to $84.00, on 571 head reported sold. Pork values firmed Friday in active trade despite wide shifts in primal cuts. Pork cutouts added $1.57 per cwt at $85.29 per cwt with 217 loads traded. Lean hog index for 4/24 is $83.40 up 0.61, with a projected two-day index is $83.73 up 0.33.


#completecalfcare

Friday Morning Livestock Market Summary - Further Aggressive Selling Likely

GENERAL COMMENTS:

Cash cattle trade developed early in the week in all areas with Southern trade steady to $1 per cwt higher, while trade in the North developed Thursday steady to $3 per cwt lower in both live and dressed markets. It is possible that additional trade may develop in the North during the day Friday, although the tone of the market has already been set. Trade in the South is likely to be wrapped up for the week, although the possibility of clean-up trade at the end of the week before month end is always a possibility. This may spark some additional cash market movement. Futures trade is expected to remain bearish following the aggressive two-day sell-off through the entire complex. Nearby futures have fallen nearly $6 per cwt the last two trading sessions, breaking through short-term support levels, and adding additional liquidation potential at the end of the week. 

Limit losses Thursday were sparked by lack of sales activity to China in the latest Export Sales report. This quickly allowed markets to tumble $3 per cwt lower limited only by daily trading limits. With June through December contracts closing at limit losses, expanded trading limits will be in place. This will allow markets to move $4.50 per cwt in either direction Friday, adding potential volatility to the complex. The underlying tone of the market remains weak, although the potential for late-week short-covering is developing given the emotional swings in the complex the last couple of weeks. Cash trade is called $1 lower to $1 higher Friday morning with most bids steady to 50 cents lower. Expected slaughter Friday is at 464,000 head. Saturday runs are expected at 141,000 head.
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BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1) Recent market pressure in live cattle futures is leaving trade ripe for a strong market shift higher next week. Limited fundamental shifts is likely to help rekindle buying support in the near future as liquidation runs out of gas.1) Cash cattle trade developed in the North Thursday, falling $3 per cwt below week-ago levels. This is adding concerns of further fundamental pressure the next couple of weeks.
2) Packers remain aggressively focused on gaining additional cattle during the first couple weeks of May. This is expected to lead to increased asking prices from feeders early next week.2) Sharp triple-digit losses in all cattle trade has quickly allowed bearish market momentum to develop. The potential for additional end of the week losses is building given the moves below long standing support levels the last two days.
3) Cash hog prices continue to remain stable even with the recent market volatility with packers searching for enough market-ready hogs to fill aggressive procurement levels.3) Limit losses in nearby lean hog futures continues to add uncertainty and long-term concern about hog market strength. This will add more volatility and potentially increase end of the week losses for the entire complex.
4) Despite the strong market pullback, lean hog futures still remain $15 to $18 per cwt above support levels during early spring. This continues to put the focus on long-term market strength in the entire pork complex.4) Sharp losses developed in pork cutout values, led by a $22.78 per cwt loss in belly cuts. The concern is that additional strong erosion in other primal cuts will develop through the end of the month. 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Thursday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Livestock Futures Down Triple Digits

GENERAL COMMENTS: Livestock futures tumbled from the early minutes of trade Thursday with many contracts closing triple digits lower. A lack of reported weekly pork trade to China led to limit losses in hog futures. Technical pressure carried over from Wednesday's losses, pushing contracts through support levels. Additional losses could be seen Friday as the market structures remain weak. Cash cattle trade in the North started to develop Thursday morning with additional volume expected to continue late in the day. Prices were seen at $127 live and $205 dressed. This is generally $3 per cwt lower than last week. Southern trade Wednesday was steady to $1 per cwt higher at $126 to $127 on most cattle sold. Although some additional numbers may develop Friday, especially in the North, the tone of the market is expected to be set. It is quite possible that trade in the South is done for the week, once again following the trend over the last few weeks of moderate midweek trade sufficient for packers needs. The National Daily Direct afternoon hog report was $0.50 higher ($73.00 to $84.00, weighted average $81.24) on 7,384 head sold. Corn futures were higher in light trade with July up 1 1/2 cents per bushel. The Dow Jones Index was 121 points lower with Nasdaq up 18 points.
LIVE CATTLE: Triple-digit losses of $2.00 to $2.97 swept through live cattle trade again Thursday for the second straight trading session. The June contract led the complex lower with a $2.97-per-cwt loss. This resulted in the contract breaking through its support levels set during the spring months and setting a new 2019 low. The building pressure in the complex is technically driven, as limited fundamental direction is yet to be seen over the last couple of weeks. The move out of the long-standing sideways market trend is likely to add even more pressure, as will concerns about growing cattle and beef supplies through the spring and summer months. Beef cut-outs: lower, down $0.53 (select, $219.75) to down $0.03 (choice, $232.93) with moderate demand and offerings, 159 loads (106 loads of choice cuts, 27 loads of select cuts, 10 load of trimmings, 16 loads of coarse grinds).
FRIDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady with Thursday trade. The tone of the market is expected to have been set over the last two trading days with prices in the South steady to $1 per cwt higher than last week and Northern trade generally $3 per cwt lower. There could be some additional activity developing Friday, especially in the North, but overall direction may not change.
FEEDER CATTLE: Feeder cattle futures saw sharp losses of $2.97 to $3.55 on technical pressure. Without hesitation or even a hint of short-covering interest in the complex Thursday, traders quickly and aggressively liquidated positions following midweek losses. Contracts breaking through short-term support levels this week have changed the structure of the market and have given sellers the opportunity they were looking for. August fell $3.47 per cwt Thursday, bringing the total two-day loss to $6.44 per cwt. This move resulted in the contract breaking through April lows, but it is still nearly $3 per cwt above March support levels. Additional end-of-the-week volatility is expected, but the limited trade volume could allow markets to shift in either direction Friday. CME cash feeder index for 4/25 is unavailable at this time.
LEAN HOGS: Lean hogs closed $1.32 to $3.00 lower following a bearish Export Sales report released Thursday morning. Traders' reacted aggressively to the news of no new U.S. pork sales to China. June through December futures closed down the $3-per-cwt limit. This opens the door for expanded trading limits Friday. Even though prices have fallen sharply through the week, markets still remain well above support levels set in March. The volatility over potential demand needs due to African swine fever continues to add uncertainty to market direction. Pork cutouts fell sharply following a $22.78-per-cwt loss in belly cuts. Pork cutout values fell $3.26 per cwt, moving to $83.72 per cwt on 305 loads. CME cash lean index for 4/23 is $82.79, up $0.72. DTN Projected lean index for 4/24 $83.40, up $0.61.
FRIDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: $1 lower to $1 higher. Futures trade losses are expected to have a light-to-moderate impact on short-term cash hog prices due to the desire and need to gain access to daily procurement levels. Most bids are expected to be steady to weak early Friday. Friday slaughter is expected at 464,000 head. Saturday runs are expected near 141,000 head.

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Thursday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Limit Hog Losses Add To Bearish Market Tone

General Comments
Sharp triple-digit losses are seen in all livestock trade Thursday morning. Limit losses quickly moved into hog trade following a bearish export sales report which posted no new sales to China. Strong follow through pressure in cattle trade continued to focus on market liquidation after Wednesday's push lower. Corn futures are mixed in light trade. July corn futures are 1/4 cent higher. Stock markets are mixed in light trade. Dow Jones is 116 points lower with Nasdaq up 22 points.
LIVE CATTLE:
Active selling has continued through the morning across live cattle futures. Triple-digit losses are seen in all contracts, with June through December futures trading $2.20 to $2.30 per cwt lower. This latest round of pressure has continued to push through short term support with June contracts at $116.07 per cwt. The combination of pressure in cattle trade earlier in the week and limit losses in the hog complex has created widespread selling interest through the morning. It is expected that prices will continue to hover in the current range through the end of the session, with little to no additional buying stepping back into the complex. Light cash cattle trade is being reported in the North through late morning with prices at $205 dressed and $127 live. This is generally $3 per cwt lower than week ago levels and is starting to account for the sharp losses in futures trade. Business in the south may be done, as feeders may hold onto cattle into early May given the cash market reaction in the North Thursday morning. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $0.21 higher (select) and up $0.63 per cwt (choice) with active movement of 117 total loads reported (81 loads of choice cuts, 18 loads of select cuts, 6 loads of trimmings, 12 loads of ground beef).
FEEDER CATTLE:
Sharp losses redeveloped early Thursday morning and have continued to shift lower through the morning. This has pushed contracts $2 to $2.50 per cwt lower with August through October futures holding losses near $2.50 per cwt at midday. Traders are not only focusing on follow-through pressure following aggressive losses Wednesday, but sharp pressure in hog trade and concerns of very little supportive market news is allowing for widespread liquidation. Current losses are likely to hold through the end of the session, allowing for potential additional end-of-week pressure to develop Friday.
LEAN HOGS:
Sharp limit losses have quickly and aggressively flooded into the lean hog futures complex Thursday morning. The lack of additional pork sales to China in the export sales report has quickly caused aggressive market liquidation. June through December contracts are locked in $3 per cwt losses despite an attempt to back away from the limit losses early in the session. Traders seemed to expect continued consistent selling week after week, given the last two weeks posted total sales over 100,000 metric tons. Even with the sharp losses, nearby prices are still $14 to $18 per cwt above support levels set during early spring. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.51 per cwt at $80.23 per cwt with the range from $73.00 to $82.50, on 3,631 head reported sold. Cash prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. Pork values surged higher in light morning trade following aggressive gains in Picnic and Belly cuts. Pork cutouts added $3.51 per cwt at $90.49 per cwt with 142 loads traded. Lean hog index for 4/23 is $82.79 up 0.72, with a projected two-day index is $83.40 up 0.61.

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Thursday Morning Livestock Market Summary - Hog Traders Look for Additional China Sales

GENERAL COMMENTS: 
Cash cattle trade started to develop in the South Wednesday, with light-to-moderate trade in Kansas and Texas at $125 to $127 per cwt. This is generally steady to $1 per cwt higher than last week's levels. The midweek trade may be enough cattle sold for the week in the South, but if not, it will likely set the tone of the market for the week. Interest in the North was generally quiet, and will focus on redeveloping bids the next couple of days. With Wednesday trade in the South becoming consistent the last few weeks, it may change the overall weekly flow of the market. Although at this point, any Southern business has been unable to move Northern trade from end of the week activity. Futures trade posted aggressive triple-digit losses following a technical shift lower that developed midweek. The inability to hold short-term support levels of $120 per cwt in June futures created additional liquidation. Weakness remains evident through live cattle and feeder cattle trade, allowing for additional follow-through pressure Thursday morning.
Light to moderate buyer support, which developed midweek in the nearby lean hog trade, is helping rekindle underlying support in the entire hog complex. Significant interest remains in overall demand strength and may continue to develop over the next couple of months surrounding a trade deal with China and additional exports due to China's need for pork. But the recent pullback in prices seems to have brought a sense of reality to the entire complex, which was needed following the emotionally driven buying spree based on essentially unchecked expectations of pork business coming from China. Traders are expected to be focusing on establishing a generally realistic and sustainable trading range that will account for moderate-to-strong domestic demand and still continued movement of pork to China. There is still little reliable information about the overall situation of hogs and pork production in China so it is going to be hard to pinpoint short- and long-term needs for pork. Cash trade is called steady to $1 higher Thursday morning with most bids steady. Expected slaughter Thursday is at 477,000 head. Saturday runs are expected at 143,000 head.
BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1) Cash cattle trade has developed with prices steady to $1 per cwt higher in the South. This should bring some market stability through the end of the week.1) Aggressive market pressure quickly swept through the entire cattle complex with feeder cattle futures leading the shift lower. This is likely to bring about spillover selling pressure through the end of the week, testing additional support levels in the near future.
2) Active domestic beef demand is expected to continue the next couple of months as warmer weather is stimulating additional grilling demand and travel activity through the spring.2) Continued focus on growing cattle supplies in feedlots has quickly eroded previous expectations of increased underlying support through the end of the month. Eroding beef values is adding to the market weakness.
3) Firm futures gains in lean hog futures has quickly brought traders back into the complex. This is likely to spark additional buyer interest through the end of the week with traders refocusing on long-term demand growth.3) Uncertainty in front of the weekly Export Sales report and any reported sales and shipments to China is likely to create market volatility. Traders seem to expect large continued sales activity and seem to be easily disappointed.
4) Traders and market watchers will continue to analyze and assess the weekly Export Sales report. Increased sales to China are expected to rekindle the bullish market support from the last month.4) Sharp losses in pork cutout values Wednesday is likely to limit end of the week support. This may add some additional underlying volatility to the entire lean hog complex the next two trading sessions.

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