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Friday, February 28, 2020

Friday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Livestock Prices Still Haven't Hit Bottom

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Cattle futures trade resembled a game of "whack-a-mole" Friday as short bursts of buying posted gains. But this was followed by a firm beat down as sharp losses developed in most contracts at the closing bell. The narrative has not changed through the week, with the focus on potential coronavirus impact to domestic and global economies and buying habits heavily affecting livestock trade. Hog prices are higher on the National Direct Afternoon Hog Report, up $0.25 with a weighted average of $50.59. May corn is up 1/4 cent per bushel and May soybean meal is up $2. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 797.94 points and NASDAQ is down 153.62 points.

From Friday to Friday, livestock futures scored the following changes: Feb Live cattle off $7.02, Apr Live cattle off $10.68; Mar Feeder cattle off $8.92, Apr Feeder cattle off $9.40; Apr Lean hogs off $4.75, May Lean hogs off $5.00.

LIVE CATTLE:
Glimmers of hope developed through the Friday trading session as traders adjusted positions at the end of the month despite remaining on the "coronavirus fear" roller coaster. February futures expired, sparking single-digit gains, while the rest of the complex posted sharp losses. Markets closed $2.90 lower to 7 cents higher Friday afternoon. The lack of understanding of how or when any impact from coronavirus will have on beef demand or overall consumer habits kept most markets with active losses at the end of the week. April live cattle are down $1.90 at $107.57, June live cattle are down $2.72 at $101.20 and August live cattle are down $2.20 at $102.27. Following early week trade in all areas, little to no interest was seen Friday in cash cattle markets. Given the strong downward pressure seen in cash trade -- while futures continue to wither away -- is limiting both sides incentive to step into the market. Activity is not expected to be significant until midweek next week as Monday's focus will be on show list distribution and inventory needs, while trying to assess the overall market direction going forward.

Boxed beef prices closed lower: choice down $0.24 ($205.30) and select down $0.78 ($198.91) with a movement of 104 loads (58.22 loads of choice, 14.86 loads of select, 8.67 loads of trim and 21.97 loads of ground beef). Thursday's slaughter is estimated at 115,000 head, 6,000 lower than a week ago and 2,000 head lower than a year ago.

MONDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady. Even if continued pressure develops in futures trade, Monday activity is expected to be reserved for inventory taking and show list distribution as both sides assess further market direction during early March.

FEEDER CATTLE:
Feeder cattle contracts recovered a little piece of the market as the day's end neared. Contracts closed $1.30 to $2.02 lower Friday. March feeders are down $1.30 at $131.27, April feeders are down $1.37 at $132.70 and May feeders are down $2.02 at $133.52. Friday trade posted back and forth moves as traders focused on the general underlying bearish tone that has continued all week, but attempts to cover positions at the end of the week and month allowed for momentums of higher trade during the day. With sharp losses seen at the closing bell, the underlying pressure remains strong through cattle trade going into the month of March.

Lexington livestock market in Lexington Ne, reported 2,394 head for the week with steers selling $1 to $6 per cwt lower than last week, while heifers sold $1 to $4 per cwt lower. The CME feeder cattle index 2/27/2020: not available at this time.

LEAN HOGS:
Lean hog futures were the most stable of all livestock markets with nearby futures holding the best; the complex ranging from $0.27 to $1.30 per cwt losses. The most aggressive pressure developed in summer and fall contracts as traders continue to feel that the most aggressive global demand pressure will develop in the last half of 2020. April lean hogs are down $0.27 at $62.27, June lean hogs are down $0.82 at $77.22 and July lean hogs are down $1.10 at $78.30. The continued ability for cash hog prices and pork values to remain generally stable through the end of February is an impressive feat given widespread moves in futures trade through the end of the month. Pork cutouts values are unavailable at this time due to reporting delays. Friday's slaughter is estimated at 486,000 head, 6,000 head less than a week ago and 3,000 head less than a year ago. Estimated weekly slaughter is 2.65 million head. The CME lean hog index 2/26/2020: down $0.05, $56.36.


MONDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady to firm. Limited direction is expected in cash hog prices as traders return from the weekend. The need to fuel a full week of aggressive packer activity will likely keep prices steady to firm. 


#completeherdhealth

Friday Midday Livestock Market Summary -Trade Follows Week's Trend Lower

General Comments
Continued weakness quickly swept through the livestock complex Friday morning as aggressive follow-through pressure developed in the stock market and most outside commodity markets. Although there is little more information from a physical or economic model that would support the recent market losses over the last week, emotions continue to be the major factor in traders backing away from recent price levels. The mentality by most commercial and investment traders is that they would rather err on the bearish side and be willing to step back into the market, rather than to not sell until it may be too late. This mentality could keep prices subdued for an extended period of time. May corn is down 1/2 cent per bushel, and May soybean meal is up $2.00. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 704.42 points, and the NASDAQ is down 124.14 points.
LIVE CATTLE
Live cattle futures have led the livestock market lower with triple-digit losses seen through most of the morning. Although the expiring February futures contract is trading on either side of unchanged at midday and has rallied over $2 from morning lows, the focus on spot April trade still holding sharp losses is creating additional technical pressure across the complex. The moves lower are creating psychological damage, as April futures have fallen below $110 per cwt, while June futures inch closer to the $100 threshold. In an emotionally driven market like has been seen this week, even numbers (Example: $100, $110) seem to have a significant role in maintaining or losing market momentum. April live cattle are down $1.92 at $108.55, June live cattle are down $1.30 at $102.60 and August live cattle are down $0.70 at $103.82. Cash cattle markets are likely done for the week with bids unavailable Friday morning. Feeders took their lumps in the cash market early in the week and are now hoping that the month of March will be kinder to them than last week. At this point, that would likely be a good bet.
Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $0.24 ($205.30) and select up $0.86 ($200.55) with a movement of 62 loads (36.41 loads of choice, 7.75 loads of select, 5.65 loads of trim and 12.66 loads of ground beef).
FEEDER CATTLE
Moderate to firm losses have held in feeder cattle trade Friday morning. Although prices have quickly bounced off morning lows with March feeder cattle futures trading nearly $4 per cwt over session lows, the weaker tone in outside markets and especially continued pressure in live cattle trade is limiting any additional buyer activity. It is expected that traders will hold moderate losses going into the weekend and the end of the month. The hope is that the weekend break will help ease the emotional pressure from livestock trade. But overall market uncertainty may remain active early next week. March feeders are down $0.47 at $132.12, April feeders are down $0.60 at $133.50 and May feeders are down $1.10 at $134.42.
LEAN HOGS
Lean hog futures have been the most stable of the livestock trade Friday morning with losses limited to 50 to 90 cents per cwt in most contract months. The underlying pressure through the commodity and financial complex is still creating weakness concerning uncertain short- and long-term changes in pork demand. The focus of domestic markets continues to be if and when significant coronavirus cases are seen in the U.S and how the economy will handle it. April futures continue to hold near $62 per cwt, which remains above support levels set at the end of January. The ability to hold these levels through early next week will be huge in sustaining a sense of technical foothold in the complex. April lean hogs are down $0.40 at $62.10, June lean hogs are down $0.77 at $77.27 and July lean hogs are down $0.67 at $78.72.
The projected lean hog index for 2/27/2020 is down $0.03 at $56.33, and the actual index for 2/26/2020 is down $0.05 at $56.36. Hog prices are higher on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.27 with a weighted average of $50.61, ranging from $45.00 to $51.12 on 4,846 head with a five-day rolling average of $50.17. Pork cutouts totals and values are unavailable at this time due to reporting delays.

#completecalfcare

Friday Morning Livestock Market Summary - Market Weakness Continues

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Thursday cash cattle trade posted a few scattered trades at steady-to-lower money than was seen earlier in the week. For the most part, cash business wrapped up, but some clean-up trade trickled into the market over the last couple of days. It is likely that there may not be bids on Friday, but given the market freefall through the week, it is also possible that packers may offer a few low-ball bids in the case that some feeders with cattle still on showlists will bite rather than waiting until next week. The weaker tone of cash markets will be huge going into early March. Fundamental supply levels have had little to do with cash market prices through the last week with the focus based on the plummeting of futures trade and concerns about further weakness in the near future. The fact that cattle futures pulled away from early limit losses Thursday is a good sign that may bring a sense of stability at the end of the week. But live cattle market trade once again will likely be at the whims of outside market direction. With the Dow Jones Index falling 1,190 points at the end of the day Thursday, there still seems to be some strong underlying concerns that further general market pressure may develop before traders back away from the panic button. Friday slaughter is expected near 121,000 head.
Sharp triple-digit losses through the end of trade Thursday sparked renewed technical pressure in the entire lean hog futures trade. Even though lightly traded, and not a good indicator of price direction, May lean hog futures broke through long-term support levels, setting contract lows. Although April and June futures are still holding above lows set in late January, the underlying focus is being placed on widespread demand pressure based on the spread of coronavirus through the world. Market impact has moved away from the virus impact on other countries' economies and their ability to maintain normal daily schedules, and more on the potential impact it would be in the U.S. This is the basis for the widespread market losses through nearly all commodity and financial markets as traders continue to look for long-term indicators of how coronavirus will affect everyday life in their neighborhoods. Long-term demand is not likely to be as heavily impacted as the recent market pressure would indicate, but if outbreaks do continue, the greatest impact is likely to be seen on short-term demand in many areas. Cash hog prices are called 50 cents lower to $1 higher with most bids expected steady to firm. Slaughter Friday is expected at 489,000 head. Saturday runs are expected at 90,000 head.
BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1)
Beef market fundamentals have yet to see significant pressure with boxed beef values holding generally stable through the week. This could bring underlying support to the entire market as traders move away from the "panic button."
1)Sharp losses in live cattle futures Thursday once again set contract lows. April futures broke through support levels last week in September, creating renewed technical bearishness through the live cattle futures complex.
2)Open interest in live cattle trade continues to hold surprisingly well through this latest round of market pressure. This indicates that active commercial and noncommercial support remains interested in cattle markets and will likely step back to the plate once the dust settles. The potential of late-month positioning may help spark renewed interest late Friday.2)The sharp cash market losses this week will be difficult to regain in the near future as packers are starting to look toward larger supplies in the next several weeks. This could change the overall trend of cash cattle markets through the first half of the year.
3)Cash hog values once again posted light-to-moderate support. This continues to put the focus on the packers need to gain access to market-ready hogs even with currently large production levels.3)April futures led the livestock market lower Thursday with losses of $2.60 per cwt. This underlying weakness in the complex puts even more focus on potential widespread late week liquidation through the entire pork complex
4)With all the immediate focus on coronavirus and the potential impact to global and domestic demand, it is important to remember that the issues with African swine fever in China and other Asian countries continues to be a major issue. This will continue to create the need for pork supplies that will outlast the recent coronavirus outbreaks.4)Continued strong pork production is expected to continue through most of the year despite the strong trend lower over the last two months. This could continue to add significant losses to many producers through much of 2020.



#completecalfcare

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Thursday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Livestock Futures Lower Again

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Another day of emotionally fueled market uncertainty strikes the livestock sector; leaves the complex exhausted and inconclusive about what's to come in the upcoming days. Hog prices are higher on the National Direct Afternoon Hog Report, up $0.20 with a weighted average of $50.22. May corn is down 6 1/2 cents per bushel and May soybean meal is up $5.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 1,190.95 points and NASDAQ is down 414.29 points.
LIVE CATTLE:
Lower, lower and lower yet again drops the board. The coronavirus has worked the cattle contracts over and left them with no choice but to trade lower in nearby contracts. Like the feeder cattle complex, the live cattle contracts closed lower in nearby markets and slightly higher in deferred. April live cattle are down $1.87 at $110.47, June live cattle are down $1.10 at $103.92 and August live cattle are down $0.50 at $104.47. The majority of cash trade is done for the week, but a little bit of clean up trade did surface in parts of the North Thursday afternoon. Dressed cattle traded anywhere from $183 to $185, which is steady to slightly lower than the earlier prices developed this week.
Boxed beef prices closed mixed: choice down $0.80 ($205.54) and select up $1.09 ($199.69) with a movement of 182 loads (122.19 loads of choice, 34.12 loads of select, 0 loads of trim and 25.50 loads of ground beef). Thursday's slaughter is estimated at 122,000 head, steady with a week ago and 3,000 head more than a year ago.
FRIDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady. If any trade transpires Friday it will only be clean up trade and most likely will trade within the prices already established this week.
FEEDER CATTLE:
Feeder cattle contracts recovered a little piece of the market as the day's end neared. Nearby contracts closed $1.32 to $1.90 lower while deferred contracts closed $0.15 to $0.87 higher. March feeders are down $1.50 at $132.57, April feeders are down $1.90 at $134.07 and May feeders are down $1.32 at $135.55. Even though the feeder cattle complex closed mixed rather than just lower, the day is hardly considered to be in a better situation as uncertainty looms.
At Clarinda Livestock Feeder Cattle Auction in Clarinda, Iowa, compared to last week, all classes and weighs were sharply lower, except 400 to 450-pound heifers that sold steady to $1.00 higher. Steers weighing 500 to 700 pounds sold $10.00 to $15.00 lower and the steers weighing 750 to 950 pounds were $5.00 to $10.00 lower. Heifers weighing 450 to 600 pounds sold $1.50 to $8.00 lower, while heifers weighing 650 to 800 pounds sold $5.00 to $8.00 lower. Trade was relatively active but the demand for heavier weight brackets was weak. The CME feeder cattle index 2/26/2020: not available at this time.
LEAN HOGS:
The lean hog market didn't fair very well through Thursday's wake as contracts fell $0.95 to $2.60 lower. April lean hogs are down $2.60 at $62.55, June lean hogs are down $2.35 at $78.05 and July lean hogs are down $2.20 at $79.40. The one bright thing that can be said through this whole process is that thankfully packers have continued to be aggressive in their kills -- on the pork side, in their cash market purchases as well. Pork cutouts totaled 329.70 loads with 297.62 loads of pork cuts and 32.08 loads of trim. Pork cutouts values: down $0.20, $64.29. Thursday's slaughter is estimated at 494,000 head, 2,000 head more than a week ago and 19,000 head more than a year ago. The CME lean hog index 2/25/2020: up $0.25, $56.41.
FRIDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady. Seeing that the market isn't coming to terms with the coronavirus, it would be unlikely for the cash market to advance notably, but steady consistent gains like what we have seen over the last week could very well continue.


#completeherdhealth

Thursday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Livestock Contracts Dive Lower -- Again

General Comments
The back and forth nature of this week's trade really emphasizes the stark reality of when emotion rules the marketplace. One day markets crash lower, the next day their losses are only minimal, then the market begins to trade higher, but then dives lower again. The back and forth uncertainty pushes traders away as the marketplace is too volatile and it suppresses prices in the cash market as both markets are emotionally tied. We know that markets as vulnerable as the people that trade within their reach, but unprecedented volatility creates a lot of distrust which takes a long time to come back around. May corn is down 7 cents per bushel and May soybean meal is up $3.40. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 394.96 points and NASDAQ is down 152.51 points.
LIVE CATTLE
Live cattle contracts haven't been able to escape from Thursday's pressure and are trading fully lower. April live cattle are down $1.60 at $110.80, June live cattle are down $1.00 at $104.02 and August live cattle are down $0.57 at $104.40. Cash cattle trade seems to more or less done for the week as Thursday morning has been quiet from both packers and feeders. Asking prices for cattle that are still available are $117-plus in the South and $187-plus in the North.
Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $0.50 ($205.84) and select up $1.24 ($199.84) with a movement of 101 loads (77.45 loads of choice, 11.67 loads of select, 0 loads of trim and 12.06 loads of ground beef).
FEEDER CATTLE
Feeder cattle contracts are trading with some triple digit losses in nearby contracts as noon approaches. March feeders are down $3.15 at $130.92, April feeders are down $3.72 at $132.25 and May feeders are down $3.22 at $ 133.65. At this point, the back and forth ambiguity of the coronavirus scare has the marketplace in utter turmoil.
LEAN HOGS
Over the last couple of days the lean hog market has been able to manage some damage control with help form a strong cash market. Thursday morning cash hog prices are higher but the lean hog future's contracts aren't able to let cattle contracts take all of the heat this time around. April lean hogs are down $1.97 at $63.17, June lean hogs are down $1.92 at $78.47 and July lean hogs are down $1.95 at $79.65.
The projected lean hog index for 2/26/2020 is down $0.05 at $56.36, and the actual index for 2/25/2020 is up $0.25 at $56.41. Hog prices are higher on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.15 with a weighted average of $50.17, ranging from $45.00 to $52.00 on 7,040 head with a five-day rolling average of $50.07. Pork cutouts total 194.84 loads with 174.04 loads of pork cuts and 20.80 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $1.94, $66.43.


#completeherdhealth

Thursday Morning Livestock Market Summary - Livestock Futures Cautious of Market Support

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Cash business may be done for the week following light-to-moderate trade that developed Tuesday and Wednesday. Most of the trade on Wednesday was seen as clean-up activity with prices steady with earlier trade this week. But these prices are $3 to $5 per cwt below last week's trade levels. Live Southern trade is at $115 per cwt for the week, while dressed trade in the North posted a wider range from $184 to $187 per cwt, but both sides are willing to move into the first week of March as they try to reestablish market stability in an unstable market. Futures trade is expected mixed in limited early trade. This continues to focus on the potential that buyers are willing to step back into the complex following the aggressive sharp losses early in the week. The continued weakness in outside markets and inability for stock markets to hold early gains is keeping additional focus on recent market weakness. Triple-digit gains in nearby feeder cattle trade through the session Wednesday was a good sign, but the inability to sustain early gains in live cattle trade continues to add uncertainty in the complex. With April and June live cattle futures currently hovering above long-term support set last August and September, the question of whether these support levels will hold is becoming a significant reality. If April futures do break below $110.17 per cwt, the potential that additional widespread commercial liquidation may quickly move into the complex increases significantly. Even though most of the focus remains on global instances of coronavirus, the underlying concern remains how the market will be able to hold if increased outbreaks are seen in the U.S. Wednesday slaughter is expected near 121,000 head.
Active buyer support slowly but steadily moved into lean hog futures trade Wednesday. Sustaining higher prices in the summer and fall contracts helped to change the narrative from the recent widespread market losses, which developed through the week. Although the overall tone still remains weak, it is very possible that the lean hog futures has found short-term support levels. We have to remember that widespread market losses surrounding coronavirus is not new to the lean hog complex. Although this week has rocked most other commodity and stock markets as coronavirus has become a global issue and not just an issue that plagued China. The dependence that lean hog and pork markets have on Chinese trade already was hit hard by coronavirus concerns as it moved through China during late January. It is likely that January support levels will likely hold in nearby and deferred lean hog trade as traders find a way to establish a more stable sideways trend within the wide market range seen in the last two months. Traders will closely be watching the weekly export sales numbers. This week's report would be the first indication of any phase-one buying from China following the implementation period after the deal was signed. Although I wouldn't hold my breath for strong China sales in the report, a firm bounce in export numbers would significantly help the short-term outlook of the market. Cash hog prices are called $1 lower to $1 higher with most bids expected steady to firm. Slaughter Wednesday is expected at 495,000 head. Saturday runs are expected at 90,000 head.
BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1)Strong triple-digit gains Wednesday in feeder cattle futures was a breath of fresh air for cattle markets as traders look for potential stability following early week losses.1)Continued pressure in cash cattle trade Wednesday confirmed earlier week losses. Although the market remains within early week price ranges, the fact that cash cattle prices fell $3 to $6 per cwt from last week's levels is weighing heavily on the entire complex.
2)Open interest in live cattle trade continues to hold surprisingly well through this latest round of market pressure. This indicates that active commercial and noncommercial support still remains interested in cattle markets, and will likely step back to the plate once the dust settles, likely over the next couple of days.2)Strong follow-through pressure is seen in boxed beef values Wednesday. Although this is not a huge surprise given the aggressive losses in futures and cash markets, the concern that this weaker beef price move will impact longer-term spring and summer prices becomes a significant possibility.
3)Continued firm support in cash hog values has helped to move the focus away from recent pressure in futures and pork values. With increased trade focusing on the current hog supplies, the need for packers to push cash values higher is a refreshing sign of potential market current-ness.3)Pressure developed in pork values with the cutout value falling $1.48 per cwt Wednesday. This is expected to limit the ability for active buyer support to move into the cash or futures trade in the near future, potentially leaving end of week trade generally flat.
4)Active gains moved into summer and fall lean hog futures trade Wednesday. This move higher could likely be the turning point in lean hog futures, which sets market support during the week. The ability for June futures to hold prices above $80 per cwt would quickly spark renewed market interest through the upcoming weeks.4)Growing uncertainty of how coronavirus will impact global markets and overall consumer demand has the greatest long-term impact on pork markets based on the larger percent of U.S. pork sold in export markets compared to beef. This will continue to limit overall buyer support and the potential for hog prices to rebound sharply.



#completeherdhealth

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Wednesday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Livestock Contracts Close Mostly Higher

GENERAL COMMENTS:
The livestock contracts closed Wednesday with a breath of fresh air as most contracts were able to close higher. The lean hog and feeder cattle contracts closed higher with no problem at all, but the live cattle market is on steeper climb as the markets not only faced pressure from the coronavirus but also weaker cash cattle prices. Hog prices closed higher on the National Direct Afternoon Hog Report, up $0.42 with a weighted average of $50.02. March corn is down 2 cents per bushel and May soybean meal is up $5.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 123.77 points and NASDAQ is up 15.16 points.
LIVE CATTLE:
The live cattle sector was the only market to close lower on Wednesday's last bell and struggled to rally support mainly in nearby contracts. But unlike the other two livestock markets, the live cattle market has to work against two factors, the obvious coronavirus and a weakening cash market. Unlike the futures market, the cash market doesn't bounce back from dramatic swings within the week as easily as the board can. Once cash cattle trade is tested and established for the week, it's really hard to change the tone/price later in the week. There was some light cash cattle trade Wednesday afternoon, but it was mostly clean up in nature. The South in mostly done trading for the week, but more cattle could still trade in the North.
Boxed beef prices closed lower: choice down $1.13 ($206.34) and select down $1.30 ($198.60) with a movement of 164 loads (103.73 loads of choice, 27.38 loads of select, 18.00 loads of trim and 15.11 loads of ground beef). Wednesday's slaughter is estimated at 123,000 head, 1,000 head more than a week ago and 4,000 head more than a year ago.
THURSDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady with the week's trend. Seeing that the heart of the South is predominately done with the week's trade already, it makes it hard for the cash market to do anything else but trade within the week's pre-established range.
FEEDER CATTLE:
Feeder cattle contracts held most of their momentum through closing and thankfully closed higher than Tuesday's last mark. March feeders are up $1.10 at $134.07, April feeders are up $1.85 at $135.97 and May feeders are up $1.07 at $136.87. Seeing traders are interested in the livestock markets again puts some comfort back into the marketplace, though there are still questions unanswered about the coronavirus. At Winter Livestock in Dodge City, Kansas, compared to a week ago, feeder steers sold $5.00 to $8.00 lower. Feeder heifers sold $6.00 to $9.00 lower. Weaned calves sold $4.00 to $7.00 lower on a limited sample. The CME feeder cattle index 2/25/2020: down $0.11, $139.61.
LEAN HOGS:
The lean hog market closed strong as gains ranged from $0.20 to $0.80. April lean hogs are up $0.47 at $65.15, June lean hogs are up $0.70 at $80.40 and July lean hogs are up $0.80 at $81.60. Seeing that the market was able to trade not only higher throughout the day but close higher on the board, all while capturing higher cash prices, sets a positive demeanor heading into the later part of the week's trade. Pork cutouts total 317.19 loads with 273.81 loads of pork cuts and 43.38 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $1.48, $64.49. Wednesday's slaughter is estimated at 495,000 head, 3,000 head more than a week ago and 19,000 head more than a year ago. The CME lean hog index 2/24/2020: up $0.25, $56.16.
THURSDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady. Seeing that the market closed higher on the board and in the cash market leads one to think that, with aggressive kills, the cash market should have no trouble keeping the pace it has been at over the last couple of days. If for some reason the coronavirus panic strikes up again, the cash market will have a hard time trading in the midst of emotional panic.


#completeherdhealth

Wednesday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Support Continues into noon hour

General Comments
On Tuesday at this time the board was trading mostly mixed and right after the noon hour the complex crumbled and closed lower. Wednesday's board could easily end up doing the same with the sheer amount of volatility and uncertainty that looms throughout the market, but for the meantime both lean hogs and feeder cattle are trading fully higher and the live cattle contracts are mixed with cash trade beginning to emerge. March corn is down 1 cent per bushel and May soybean meal is up $4.50. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 110.81 points and NASDAQ is up 59.92 points.
LIVE CATTLE
As the live cattle contracts reach the noon hour, nearby contracts are mostly lower while deferred contracts are mildly higher. April live cattle are down $0.27 at $112.67, June live cattle are down $0.25 at $105.55 and August live cattle are up $0.05 at $105.45. Following Tuesday's light to moderate trade throughout most of the country, a few bids are sitting on the table at noon, but trade hasn't really developed. Bids of $184 to $187 have been renewed by a major in Eastern Nebraska for delivery next week.
The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction reported a total of 755 head, of which 627 head sold earlier Wednesday morning. There was a total of five lots, one in Texas and four in Kansas. Only one lot in Kansas did not sell. All started with $115 asking prices and those that sold went for $115.25, most lots were set for one-to-nine-day delivery, and one lot in Kansas is set for one-to-seventeen day delivery.
Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $1.15 ($206.32) and select down $0.88 ($199.02) with a movement of 103 loads (73.25 loads of choice, 17.15 loads of select, 5.71 loads of trim and 7.37 loads of ground beef).
FEEDER CATTLE
Feeder cattle contracts are making a strong move into the noon hour as nearby contracts push advancements higher and higher. March feeders are up $1.32 at $134.30, April feeders are up $1.32 at $135.45 and May feeders re up $0.77 at $136.60. Cash cattle trade is most likely going to develop for lower prices again this week which could hinder the feeder cattle market's push for higher prices throughout the later part of the week.
LEAN HOGS
The projected two-day lean hog index is not available at this time. The lean hog market isn't out of the clear from the coronavirus scare but a healthy cash market has its way of supporting the future's market beautifully. Thankfully cash prices were higher again Wednesday morning and the future's market has been able to capture gains of $0.57 to $0.92 higher. April lean hogs are up $0.57 at $65.25, June lean hogs are up $0.92 at $80.62 and July lean hogs are $0.87 at $81.67.
Hog prices are higher on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.35 with a weighted average of $49.95, ranging from $45.00 to $51.00 on 5,051 head sold and five-day rolling average of $50.02. Pork cutout total 191.36 loads with 167.42 loads of pork cuts and 23.93 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $1.27, $64.70.


#completeherdhealth

Wednesday Morning Livestock Market Summary - Additional Technical Losses Possible Through Cattle Trade

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Aggressive follow-through liquidation late Tuesday in live cattle futures sparked the development of light cash cattle trade. The eroding market structure gave the opportunity for packers to sweep in with lower bids. The recent tumble in futures trade caused fear in many feedlot managers, and prices later in the week could see additional sharp losses. Although it is expected that some additional trade will likely be done before the end of the week, prices fell to $187 dressed in the North, a $3 per cwt loss from last week's average. Sales in the South developed $5 per cwt lower at $115 per cwt. Unless a major correction is seen in live cattle futures the next couple of days, these price levels are likely to set the tone for weekly cash cattle prices. Futures trade is expected mixed during early trade. Although a strong underlying weak tone remains evident, aggressive selling across the live cattle complex has broken through short-term support levels and will likely attract moderate buyer support in order to cover short positions. Outside market direction is expected to play a significant role in the direction and activity level in cattle trade Wednesday, as the late day tumble in stock markets Tuesday pulled cattle markets away from the mixed price moves early in the session. Similar patterns are likely in midweek trade with buyers likely to stick their toes in the water, looking for an opportunity to buy at these levels. But if widespread liquidation continues in outside markets, any early market support could quickly erode. Continued global concerns of the spread of coronavirus continues to leave markets weak even though the market remains in an oversold status. Wednesday slaughter is expected near 121,000 head.
The lean hog futures complex still remains generally weak but is fairing the widespread market liquidation much better than most other markets over the past couple of days. The main reason for this is that because so much focus in the lean hog and pork markets has been squarely focused on China and the potential or lost potential demand growth in the country, traders feel that a "coronavirus correction" in other markets was already evident in lean hog trade during January. This does not mean that additional strong losses may develop in lean hog futures, especially as the fear and concern of the virus spreads to the U.S. But it is helping to break the weaker cycle in the entire livestock complex, at least for now. The underlying weakness in the complex is still expected midweek, but prices are likely to remain mixed during morning trade. Cash hog prices are called $1 lower to $1 higher with most bids expected steady. Slaughter Wednesday is expected at 495,000 head. Saturday runs are expected at 90,000 head.
BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1)An oversold market structure remains in live cattle and feeder cattle trade. This would likely create light-to-moderate price support in the near future if outside markets start to stabilize.1)Widespread technical liquidation through cattle trade the last two days has eroded all recent support in the market. Live cattle trade is now focusing on maintaining support levels last seen last September. This could limit additional buying through the end of the month.
2)The majority of beef production in the U.S. is dependent on domestic demand. This will help to insulate the beef market from a portion of the global economic challenges that is causing so much fear in all markets through the week.2)The announcement by CDC Tuesday that coronavirus in the U.S is no longer a question of whether a pandemic will happen, but when, continues to add to the urgency of the virus, and the local impact it may have on domestic beef demand and the economy.
3)Lean hog futures continue to test support levels following mixed price moves within a narrow range Tuesday. The ability to spark additional technical buyer support midweek could quickly push prices moderately higher through the end of the month.3)The lack of support in the stock market created widespread concerns not only for meat markets but all consumable products. The Dow Jones closed down another 800 points Tuesday, making the two day market slide near 2,000 points lower.
4)Strong gains redeveloped in cash hog prices Tuesday, helping to continue the focus on packers trying to fill needed plant space as they search for market-ready hogs through the end of February.4)Pork values eroded following the continued underlying pressure through the complex. The weekly market wide pressure has also taken most of the emphasis off of potential February sales of pork to China, which was expected to be closely watched this week.




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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Tuesday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Lower Tones Creep Into the Cash Market

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Another day and more position lost in the livestock complex as contracts are yet again painfully struck by the worry and uncertainty of the coronavirus. Hog prices closed higher again on the National Direct Afternoon Hog Report, up $0.89 with a weighted average of $49.60. March corn is up 1/4 cent per bushel and May soybean meal is up $1.00. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 879.44 points and NASDAQ is down 255.67 points.
LIVE CATTLE:
Tumbling yet again, the live cattle market closes fully lower. April live cattle are down $2.30 at $112.95, June live cattle are down $1.57 at $105.80 and August live cattle are down $1.32 at $105.40. The slim support that the market had dabbled in at the noon hour Tuesday is long gone as traders are set in a quick-fire sell all/sell everything mindset. The worry of the coronavirus has now trickled into the cash market as light trade developed in parts of both the North and the South Tuesday afternoon. Northern dressed trade was at mostly $187, roughly $3 lower than last week's weighted average basis Nebraska. Southern live cattle trade was at $115, generally $5 lower than the prior week's weighted averages.
Boxed beef prices closed mixed: choice up $0.40 ($207.47) and select down $2.47 ($199.90) with a movement of 141 loads (61.59 loads of choice, 37.10 loads of select, 0 loads of trim and 41.82 loads of ground beef). Tuesday's slaughter is estimated at 124,000 head, 1,000 head more than a week ago and 6,000 head more than a year ago.
WEDNESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Lower. Given the vast disruption from the futures market and the consensus that the cash market will trade lower this week, there's little hope of cash prices being anything but $3.00 to $5.00 lower. However, the one bullish piece of silver lining that remains true is that packers are still aggressively harvesting cattle. They haven't feared away, closed the plants and drastically minimized kills. Packers most obviously hold the upper hand in the market right now, but given this time of uncertainty, at least plants are still processing cattle, which means that they will need to keep buying cattle.
FEEDER CATTLE:
The little support that was testing the feeder cattle market around the noon hour has long disappeared, and contracts closed fully lower. The nearby contracts are taking the biggest hit, which makes sense that nearby markets would suffer the most as deferred markets have more hope that some long-term understanding will be reached before they trade more actively. March feeders closed $3.05 lower at $132.97, April feeders closed $3.47 lower at $134.12 and May feeders closed $2.55 lower at $135.80.
At Miles City Livestock Auction in Miles City, Montana; compared to last week, feeder calves weighing 600 to 649 pounds sold steady to somewhat higher and all other weights were too lightly tested to accurately noted however steady to firm undertones were noticed. Feeder heifers weighing 500 to 649 pounds were mostly steady. Higher undertones were noticed on heifers weighing less than 500 pounds and lower undertones for heifers weighing over 650 pounds. Demand for grass cattle remains mostly good while demand for heavy weight cattle was weaker this time around. The CME feeder cattle index 2/24/2020: down $1.30, $139.72.
LEAN HOGS:
The lean hog market was able to test time and closed with some nearby contracts slightly higher. April lean hogs closed $0.05 higher at $64.67, June lean hogs closed $0.25 lower at $79.70 and July lean hog hogs closed $0.47 lower at $80.80. The lean hog market has been supported by a relatively active and energized cash market, which can make all the difference in situations like these. Pork cutouts total 400.35 loads with 375.90 loads of pork cuts and 24.44 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $0.35, $65.97. Tuesday's slaughter is estimated at 495,000 head, 1,000 head more than a week ago and 21,000 head more than a year ago. The CME lean hog index 2/21/2020: up $0.04, $55.91.
WEDNESDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady. It wouldn't be surprising to see the board sway back and forth with mild to extreme losses, but it seems like the lean hog cash market is fairly steady and packers continue to actively process hogs so they will need to keep their orders filled.

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Tuesday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Livestock Contracts Trade Mixed

General Comments
Seeing that some livestock contracts are still trading slightly higher into the noon hour solidifies the fact that Monday's move was overdone. The coronavirus needs to be carefully monitored but as humans we often tend to react before we know the facts which comes at the market's expense. March corn is steady and May soybean meal is steady. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 386.72 points and NASDAQ is down 104.28 points.
LIVE CATTLE
Live cattle contracts trade lower in nearby contracts and higher in deferred as the noon hour approaches. April live cattle are down $1.27 at $115.72, April live cattle are down $1.12 at $114.12 and June live cattle are down $0.67 at $106.70. The support for the live cattle market was weak before the Monday's run lower and it's apparent that the market is having a harder time regaining support and confidence from traders as the market cautiously picks few contracts to trade higher while the feeder cattle contracts and lean hog contracts are more bold in their moves.
Cash cattle trade has yet to really transpire as there are just a few scattered bids on the table in parts of Nebraska while the rest of country is quiet. A few asking prices are being reported in the North at $190 plus. There are 755 head of fats consigned to Wednesday's Fed Cattle Exchanged with four lots from Kansas (two with one-to-nine-day delivery, and the other two with one-to-seventeen day delivery) and the fifth lot from Texas with one-to-nine day delivery.
Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice up $0.20 ($207.27) and select down $0.52 ($201.85) with a movement of 68 loads (33.52 loads of choice, 14.77 loads of select, zero loads of trim and 19.62 loads of ground beef).
FEEDER CATTLE
Feeder cattle contracts are evenly split going into the noon hour with traders mildly interested. March feeders are up $0.47 at $136.50, April feeders are down $0.65 at $136.90 and May feeders are down $0.35 at $138.00. Though the market is trading higher in some instances, there's still an underlying tone of uncertainty and skittishness.
LEAN HOGS
The lean hog market is having the best come back as most of the complex trades higher and is being encouraged by a stronger cash market. April lean hogs are up $0.70 at $65.32, June lean hogs are $0.07 at $80.02 and July lean hogs are down $0.07 at $81.20. Out of the livestock markets, the lean hog market sits most confidently as time rolls into the noon hour.
The two-day lean hog index for 2/21/2020 is up $0.04 at $55.91, and the actual index for 2/20/2020 is up $0.09 at $55.87. Hog prices are higher on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.92 with a weighted average of $49.63, ranging from $45.00 to $51.00 on 4,436 head sold and five-day rolling average of $49.77. Pork cutouts total 250.74 loads with 235.87 loads of pork cuts and 14.86 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $0.44, $65.88.

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