It's usually feared that during the holiday weeks that contracts will give away and cash cattle trade is nowhere to be found. This week ended up treating the lean hog and cattle sectors quite well. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Afternoon Hog Report, down $0.35 with a weighted average of $42.54. March corn is up 8 cents per bushel and January soybean meal is down $3.10. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 112.59 points and NASDAQ is down 39.71 points.
From Friday to Friday livestock futures scored the following changes: December live cattle up $2.53, February live cattle up $2.35; January feeder cattle up $3.00, March feeder cattle up $3.43; December lean hogs up $0.80, February lean hogs up $0.52.
Live cattle contracts did a number this week on posting gains and not taking the week easy just because of a holiday. Much like the feeder cattle contracts, live cattle contracts rallied Monday through Wednesday, and then more or less gave Wednesday's gains back on Friday. December live cattle are down $0.22 at $121.20, February live cattle are down $0.50 at $126.20 and April live cattle are down $0.50 at $126.37. Cash cattle trade was rather impressive this week. Packers came in swinging low, but eventually divvied up the cash and paid more this week than they did last week. Most cash cattle sold for $187, $3.00 stronger than last week. Live cattle sold anywhere from $118 to $120, $2.00 to $4.00 higher than last week.
Boxed beef prices closed lower: choice down $0.12 ($232.12) and select down $0.30 ($210.34) with 65 loads total (32.20 loads of choice, 14.20 loads of select, 8.04 loads of trim and 10.33 loads of ground beef). Thursday's slaughter is estimated at 2,000 head, and Friday's slaughter is estimated at 115,000 head, up 1,000 head from a week ago and down 7,000.
MONDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady to $1.00 higher. Next week will be a bit of a bet. Packers will need cattle because they didn't buy enough this week to fully meet their needs. However, they may play their fiddle and the market's psychology too, and argue that cattle are carrying mud. Nevertheless, trade will most likely heat up in the later part of the week, most likely be for higher money.
Some sale barns took the week off as they knew buyers wanted to spend time with their families instead of beating down icy roads to bid on calves, and rightfully so. This storm will wreak havoc on selling calves as shipping induces stress, as does new feed and the jostling of hauling to and from. The board performed exceptionally well on the feeder cattle side of things, etching higher Monday through Wednesday and then closing lower on Friday. January feeders closed $1.05 lower at $142.27, March feeders closed $0.90 lower at $143.02 and April feeders closed $0.65 lower at $144.97. The CME feeder cattle index 11/28/19: down $0.60 at $145.11.
Hey, hey, hey, the early bird doesn't always get the worm. Lean hog contracts have been more or less steady to slightly lower at times, but come Friday, contracts got with it and the spot contract rallied over $1.00. Cash trade has push hard to gravitate towards the $43.00 mark and make some progression this week. Pork cutouts totaled 213.75 loads with 181.28 loads of pork cuts and 32.47 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $1.87 at $81.85. The CME lean hog index 11/27/19: not available at this time.
MONDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady. Packers will have some incentive to keep processing pork cuts with cutout prices higher, but we all know that market ready hogs are a dime a dozen right now, making it hard for producers to push prices much higher.