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Friday, July 31, 2020

Friday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Feeder Cattle Push Through Resistance

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Cattle contracts warmed up after the noon hour and posted a stronger gain than most assumed they would. Though lean hog contracts didn't see as much of a push heading into the weekend, the hog contracts closed higher as well. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Afternoon Hog Report, down $0.38 with a weighted average of $40.97 on 4,968 head. December corn is up 1/4 cent per bushel and December soybean meal is down $0.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 115.41 points and NASDAQ is up 157.47 points.
From Friday to Friday livestock futures scored the following changes:
August live cattle up $1.50, October live cattle up $2.78; August feeder cattle up $2.63, September feeder cattle up $3.47; August lean hogs down, $2.00, October lean hogs down $0.52.
LIVE CATTLE:
Friday's live cattle trade heated up after the noon hour and shot mostly $1.00 higher like the feeder cattle complex. August live cattle closed $1.10 higher at $102.82, October live cattle closed $1.12 higher at $108.87 and December live cattle closed $1.10 higher at $111.55. Aided by the determined strength in the feeder cattle complex and the $1.00 to $2.00 rally in the cash cattle market, the complex felt safe to jump higher into the week's close. Friday's cash cattle trade wasn't as noteworthy as the board's close and the day simply provided an opportunity to clean up some trade here and there. Some cattle in Iowa sold for $160 to $162, in Colorado live for $99 and in Kansas for $96 to $97. Friday's slaughter is estimated at 113,000 head -- steady with a week ago and 2,000 head less than a year ago. Saturday's kill is projected to be around 51,000 head.
Boxed beef prices closed mixed: choice up $1.46 ($203.26) and select down $1.61 ($189.89) with a movement of 98 loads (51.52 loads of choice, 20.81 loads of select, 7.59 loads of trim and 18.44 loads of ground beef).
MONDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady to slightly higher. The market can't deny that even though prices have been higher as of late, the backlog of cattle is still very prevalent. However, with some Northern feedlots working their way through backlogged inventory to a more current booking, there's some optimism throughout the industry.
FEEDER CATTLE:
Friday turned the midway point at the noon hour and shot past the resistance at $143.85 to $144 and closed considerably higher. August feeders closed $1.65 higher at $144.67, September feeders closed $1.80 higher at $146.22 and October feeders closed $2.12 higher at $146.65. Friday's close rings prices not seen since early March. Heading into next week the market will be tested to see how true the support is.
As Friday concludes so does Superior's Video Royale Sale in Winnemucca, Nevada, where this week the auction sold 158,200 head of calves, feeder cattle and breeding stock. Throughout the nation, pairs sold for $1,700 to $2,000 and cows sold for $1,150 to $1,350. In Region One (Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada and California) steers weighing 550 to 595 pounds sold for $145 to $176, steers weighing 600 to 640 pounds sold for $146 to $168 and steers weighing 650 to 695 pounds sold for $140 to $174. In Region Two (Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Utah and Colorado) steers weighing 550 to 590 pounds sold for $147 to $170.50, steers weighing 600 to 640 pounds sold for $144.50 to $163.50 and steers weighing 650 to 690 pounds sold for $144 to $159. In Region Three (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas) steers weighing 550 to 595 pounds sold for $128.50 to $177, steers weighing 600 to 645 pounds sold for $127 to $164 and steers weighing 650 to 695 pounds sold for $132 to $167. And in Region Four (Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Wisconsin and Illinois) steers weighing 560 to 575 pounds sold for $159 to $171.50, steers weighing 630 pounds sold for $158 and steers weighing 675 to 695 pounds sold for $142 to $145. The CME feeder cattle index 7/30/2020: not available at this time.
LEAN HOGS:
The lean hog complex struggled throughout the later part of the week to trade higher as interest in the cash market softened and traders' willingness to consider lean hog contracts seemed slim. Thankfully the complex caught a shot of optimism and traded higher throughout Friday, closing the week a tick stronger. August lean hogs closed $0.57 higher at $52.00, October lean hogs closed $1.30 higher at $49.62 and December lean hogs closed $0.60 higher at $50.37. Pork cutouts total 389.03 loads with 350.86 loads of pork cuts and 38.16 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $2.26, $65.31. Friday's slaughter is estimated at 474,000 head - 2,000 head more than a week ago and 25,000 head more than year ago. Saturday's slaughter is projected to be around 182,000 head. And Thursday's hog slaughter was revised to 480,000 head. The CME lean hog index 7/29/2020: up $0.61, $53.56.
MONDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady to slightly weaker. Packers were extremely aggressive this week in purchasing hogs which could lead to softer trade over the near future.

#completeherdhealth

Friday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Steady Gains Heading into Afternoon for Livestock Contracts

General Comments
Steady, manageable gains seem to be the trend in the livestock complex heading into the afternoon which could lead the day to close fully higher throughout all three livestock contracts. The cash markets are extremely quiet as packers are having submission problems with the cash hog prices, and for the cash cattle market some packers have inquired on cattle, but the day remains mostly quiet. December corn is up 1/4 cent per bushel and December soybean meal is down $0.90. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 201.65 points and NASDAQ is up 25.73 points.
LIVE CATTLE
Live cattle contracts are happily heading into Friday's afternoon trade without much worry as the complex is taking these easy $0.20 to $0.60 gains with ease. August live cattle are up $0.42 at $102.15, October live cattle are up $0.52 at $107.27 and December live cattle are up $0.52 at $110.97. The cash cattle market has been mostly quiet Friday morning with packers inquiring on a few cattle here and there but without much urgency to get anything bought. Nebraska sold some cattle Friday morning live for $100, steady with the week's trend, and packers have bids on cattle in Colorado for $98.
Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice up $1.58 ($203.38) and select down $0.44 ($191.06) with a movement of 55 loads (37.43 loads of choice, 7.60 loads of select, 5.94 loads of trim and 3.75 loads of ground beef).
FEEDER CATTLE
Feeder cattle contracts have spent most of the week rebuilding to the $143.85 level that Monday quickly dropped lower from. Seeing that the market is rallying $0.55 to $1.00 stronger (with deferred contracts being most boisterous) the nearby contracts could very well keep with their modest progression but leave the hard decisions up to next week. At some point the market will either solidify that the $143.80 to $144.00 range is an extremely strong resistance plane that support can't seem to trade through, or adversely, because of the countryside's robust strength the market will end its sideways trade and head higher. August feeders are up $0.60 at $143.62, September feeders are up $0.70 at $145.12 and October feeders are up $0.92 at $145.45.
LEAN HOGS
Friday's trade as been more favorable to the lean hog complex as contracts trade steadily $0.02 to $0.72 stronger into the afternoon. August lean hogs are up $0.17 at $51.60, October lean hogs are up $0.72 at $49.05 and December lean hogs are up $0.27 at $50.05. It's looking like packers wont' be swooping in to boost the cash trade or to buy upwards of 10,000 hogs through Friday, but Friday's modest rally comes as a pleasant surprise nonetheless.
The projected lean hog index for 7/30/2020 is down $0.03 at $53.53, and the actual index for 7/29/2020 is up $0.60 at $53.56. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.02 with a weighted average of $41.37, ranging from $40.00 to $41.80 on 3,829 head and five-day rolling average of $41.87. Pork cutouts total 252.82 loads with 225.41 loads of pork cuts and 27.41 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $1.00, $68.57.

#completeherdhealth

Friday Morning Livestock Market Summary - Mixed Trade Expected

General Comments:
Live cattle were able to hold their head above water, closing higher for the third consecutive day. Higher cash for the week continues to provide some support in anticipation of higher prices next week. Most cash trading has been accomplished this week with light trading expected Friday as buyers finish up the week. The upside may be limited as there remains a large supply of heavier cattle that have been sitting in feedlots waiting for higher prices. However, most of the cattle coming to the market seem to be current with weights. Lean hogs broke chart support Thursday, sending futures significantly lower. The December contract remained slightly above the low reached a month ago. Large supplies of pork continue to hang over the market and are expected to remain that way for the near term. Demand uncertainly will keep traders cautious. The national average price of pork in China continues to slowly increase and is running nearly 11% higher so far this year. This should increase their pork imports, but volumes have not been sufficient to turn market sentiment.
BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1)
Feeder cattle are leading the charge higher, providing spillover support to live cattle. The price uptrend remains intact despite some consolidation.
1)
Heavier cattle are still waiting in the wings at some feedlots. Higher prices may bring these out to the market quickly satisfying buyer demand and leaving them less aggressive.
2)
Higher cash cattle and higher boxed beef should keep prices stronger to close out the month. Buyers may need to raise bids next week to obtain supply and keep current with demand.
2)
Traders may lighten their positions at the end of the month, triggering some selling after the recent price increase.
3)
Large amounts of pork continue to be absorbed by the market with slaughter slightly less compared to last week. This could bring short-covering on the last day of the month as traders take profit on short positions.
3)
Hog futures breaking chart support opens the way for further liquidation. Contracts may retest the lows from a month ago.
4)
Weekly export sales increased 24% from the previous week and was up 12% over the four-week average. China was the largest buyer. Futures could rebound as Thursday might have been a buyer the rumor, sell the fact reaction.
4)
Large hog numbers seem to support USDA's projection of an increase of pork production this year to a record 995 million pounds. This will leave the market on the defensive and upside price potential limited.




#completeherdhealth

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Thursday Closing Livestock Market Update - Another Strong Day for Cattle, but Lower for Hogs

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Thursday wrapped up in identical fashion to how it initially developed. Cattle contracts looked to trade higher and take advantage of the momentum in the feeder cattle market, but unfortunately, the lean hog sector can't rally any trader interest. Hog prices closed lower on the National Direct Afternoon Hog Report, down $0.84 with a weighted average of $41.36 on 8,224 head. December corn is up 1/2 cent per bushel and December soybean meal is up $2.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 225.92 points and NASDAQ is up 44.87 points.
LIVE CATTLE:
Another day, and another successful close leaves the live cattle contracts trading steadily higher into Friday. August live cattle closed $0.27 higher at $101.72, October live cattle closed $0.70 higher at $106.75 and December live cattle closed $0.50 higher at $110.45. Given that Wednesday secured the week's jump in cash cattle prices, Thursday was given the opportunity to follow in its shadow. Northern cattle sold Thursday afternoon for $160 to $162, mostly $160 ,which is $2.00 higher than last week's weighted average. Thursday's slaughter is estimated at 119,000 head - 1,000 head less than a week ago and 4,000 head less than a year ago.
Thursday's Actual Slaughter data for the week ending 7/18/2020 shared a slightly smaller kill than anticipated, but significantly lower beef carcass weights. Total slaughter amounted to 646,067 head, which was only down 0.44% from the previous week. Actual live weights were down 14 pounds averaging 1358 pounds, and dressed weights were down 8 pounds from the previous week at 830 pounds.
Boxed beef prices closed higher: choice up $0.69 ($201.80) and select up $2.01 ($191.50) with a movement of 137 loads (92.62 loads of choice, 22.41 loads of select, 2.99 loads of trim and 18.82 loads of ground beef).
FRIDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady. Seeing that a large volume of cattle have already traded this week, Friday's trade will mostly be cleanup and follow along with the price ranges already set this week.
FEEDER CATTLE:
Feeder cattle contracts closed higher again Thursday afternoon, the week's third consecutive day of a stronger close. August feeders closed $1.05 higher at $143.02, September feeders closed $1.85 higher at $144.42 and October feeders closed $1.27 higher at $144.52. On Monday the market scaled lower after prices hit $143.85 -- only $0.83 higher than what Thursday's market closed at. Heading towards Friday, the market will dance around the pressure at $143.85 to $144.00. At Winter Livestock in Pratt, Kansas, compared to a week ago, feeder steers weighing 750 to 950 pounds sold $1.00 to $4.00 lower. Feeder heifers under 750 pounds tested a weaker market, though there weren't enough numbers to really compare, and feeder heifers weighing 750 to 900 pounds sold $1.00 to $3.00 higher. The biggest market advancement was on spayed heifers. The CME feeder cattle index 7/29/2020: down $0.60, $139.24.
LEAN HOGS:
The lean hog contracts have been trading lower the last couple of days, but Thursday's close was sharply lower in nearby contracts. August lean hogs closed $1.65 lower at $51.42, October lean hogs closed $1.50 lower at $48.32 and December lean hogs closed $1.25 lower at $49.77. It was encouraging to see large numbers of hogs trade over the last couple of days, which made the slightly lower prices less discouraging. Pork cutouts totaled 389.80 loads with 349.83 loads of pork cuts and 39.97 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $0.34, $67.57. Thursday's slaughter is estimated at 475,000 head, up 4,000 head from both a week and year ago. The CME lean hog index 7/28/2020: up $1.85, $52.95.
Thursday's Actual Slaughter data shared that, for the week ending 7/18/2020, hog slaughter was slightly smaller than the previous week and that carcass weights stay about the same. Total slaughter amounted to 2,517,172 head, which was 3.09% smaller than the previous week. Actual live weights were steady at 284 pounds but dressed weights were down 1 pound at 212 pounds.
FRIDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Lower. Seeing that Thursday's close was lower in volume and lower in prices leads one to think that packers were aggressive earlier in the week but have secured the bulk of the hogs needed, at least for the near future.


#completecalfcare

Thursday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Cattle Keep Trading Higher, While Lean Hogs Aren't as Optimistic

General Comments
Thus far Thursday has been a day of few surprises as the market continues to trade as steadily as the day opened with cattle contracts inching higher and the lean hog complex dabbling lower. Cash cattle trade was mostly quiet Thursday morning following Wednesday's advancement, but as the noon hour approaches bids are starting to surface. December corn is up 1/2 cent per bushel and December soybean meal is down $0.10. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 229.60 points and NASDAQ is up 27.01 points.
LIVE CATTLE
Continuing to be fueled by a stronger feeder cattle market and a generous export report, the live cattle contracts continue to trade higher into the afternoon. August live cattle are down $0.17 at $101.27, October live cattle are up $0.37 at $106.42 and December live cattle are up $0.35 at $110.30. Cash cattle trade has been mostly quiet Thursday morning but as the afternoon nears, interest and bids are starting to develop. Nebraska has sold some live cattle at $100 and some dressed cattle for $160. Colorado has come cattle bid on at $98, but the bid has not be accepted yet.
Thursday's export report shared that net sales of 29,500 mt reported for 2020 -- a marketing-year high -- were up 89% from the previous week and 81% from the prior four-week average. The three primarily increases were for South Korea (11,500 mt, including decreases of 600 mt), Japan (10,600 mt, including decreases of 400 mt), Taiwan (1,500 mt, including decreases of 200 mt).
Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $0.17 ($201.28) and select up $2.05 ($191.54) with a movement of 83 loads (61.90 loads of choice, 14.27 loads of select, zero loads of trim and 6.93 loads of ground beef).
FEEDER CATTLE
Feeder cattle contracts have led the cattle complex higher again into Thursday's afternoon hours. August feeders are up $1.10 at $143.07, September feeders are up $1.50 at $144.07 and October feeders are up $1.02 at $144.22. If the market can keep with its recent progression, the market will soon face the resistance again at $144. At which point the market's recent strengthen and bullish push from feeder cattle sales will have to either push past or turn submissively to that resistance level once again.
LEAN HOGS
Thursday's lean hog complex hasn't had a trade of heart as the entire market tips lower. August lean hogs are down $1.87 at $51.20, October lean hogs are down $1.47 at $48.32 and December lean hogs are down $1.37 at $49.65. The morning's cash hog trade was quiet a bit lower, but hopefully the afternoon's report will show another movement of significant trade.
The projected lean hog index for 7/28/2020 is up $1.85 at $52.95, and the actual index for 7/27/2020 is up $0.87 at $51.10. Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $1.16 with a weighted average of $41.04, ranging from $37.00 to $41.80 on 5,035 head and a five-day rolling average of $40.93. Pork cutouts total 223.33 loads with 193.40 loads of pork cut and 29.93 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $0.98, $66.93.
Pork net sales totaled 39,600 mt reported for 2020 which was up 24% from the previous week and 12% from the prior 4-week average. The three primary increases were for China (17,800 mt, including decreases of 1,200 mt), Mexico (15,400 mt, including decreases of 200 mt), Canada (2,300 mt, including decreases of 400 mt).

#completeherdhealth

Thursday Morning Livestock Market Summary - Cattle Futures Nearing Resistance Levels

General Comments:
Cash cattle trade continues to firm through the week with the focus Wednesday on Northern dressed trade at $160 per cwt. This is generally $2 per cwt higher than last week's average. Southern trade remained steady with earlier week price levels, but between $97 and $97.50 per cwt, which is generally $1 higher than last week. Asking prices remain at $498 to $100 per cwt live and $162 per cwt dressed, although additional bids early Thursday could be steady to slightly higher than midweek levels. For the most part, it is expected that the tone of cash market trade has been set, although at this point, some light-to-moderate sales are expected to develop over the next couple of days. Cash cattle basis levels remains weak, hovering $7 per cwt under October futures. With ample cattle available in feedlots needing a processing home, there continues to be limited aggressiveness on the side of packers to boost cash markets significantly higher. Live cattle futures have regained significant technical support over the last two trading sessions, although the overall lack of changes in market fundamentals could temper further gains in the near future. October futures are trading at $106 per cwt, within striking distance of short-term highs. Given the inability for aggressive changes in cash cattle trade and beef values struggling to move steadily higher, there continues to be uncertainty about the sustained buyer support in live cattle or feeder cattle trade through the end of the week. Thursday's slaughter is expected at 119,000 head.
Lean hog futures continue to remain under pressure through the end of July with traders quickly pulling away from recent support levels in all nearby contracts. August contracts continue to lead the market lower, breaking away from month-long highs earlier in the week, while the concern of current hog supplies and uncertain demand growth continues to limit buyer support through the end of the week. October futures have fallen below $50 per cwt once again. Although this is not a technical benchmark given that prices are well within the recent sideways trading range, it does remain a psychological barrier that could limit late week support in the entire complex. Average hog weights last week fell another 1.2 pounds per hog to 281.1 pounds. Although hog weights continue to move lower week after week, current levels are nearly 4 pounds heavier than last year's level. This continues to focus on aggressive year-over-year production gains. Although this is no surprise to the market, it will continue to limit upside price potential, especially given the lack of certainty about demand growth through the last half of the year. Traders will focus on the morning Export Sales and Shipments report to determine the amount of new sales to China last week, while also focusing on other major export destinations. Cash hog prices are expected $1 lower to $1 higher with most bids expected steady to 50 cents higher. Slaughter Thursday is expected at 475,000 head. Saturday runs are expected near 186,000 head.
BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1)
Firm gains in cash cattle this week is creating firm expectations of follow-through support during the end of the week. Live cattle traded in the South at $97 to $97.5 per cwt and $160 in the North, $1 to $2 per cwt higher than last week.
1)
Limited support in choice beef values over the last several days has created concern that even though wholesale beef values may be at or near seasonal lows, strong upside market support may be limited in the coming weeks. This could limit further support in live cattle futures.
2)
Active buying redeveloping in feeder cattle futures have pushed prices within $1 per cwt of four-month highs. If follow-through buyer support can move through these resistance levels at the end of the month, further technical support is likely during early August.
2)
Cash cattle prices continue to trade at a firm discount to futures trade, weakening basis levels over the last couple of months. This could further limit widespread support in cattle trade in the upcoming weeks.
3)
Further reductions of hog carcass weights last week may make is harder to keep the hog market current. Even the weights remain above year-ago levels, keeping hog weights manageable is expected to create long-term support through the entire complex.
3)
Cash hog values have pulled away from the recent strong cash buyer support last week. This could indicate that packers are able to gain access to ample hogs given the recent price support but could quickly limit additional cash market support through the end of the month.
4)
The weekly Export Sales and Shipments report will be closely watched as traders are looking for follow-through buyer support from China, as well as active movement from other traditional buyers through the month of July.
4)
Labor issues at packing plants continue to be a daily struggle in order to meet expected slaughter projections. The focus on the ability to keep and maintain full production crews will likely be a major challenge for the entire meat industry through the end of the year.





#completeherdhealth

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Wednesday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Cattle Contracts Stronger

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Wednesday offered the marketplace wins throughout all three sectors. The cattle contracts were able to close higher, cash cattle prices were a tick stronger, and even though cash hog prices were lower, the number of hogs moving through the supply chain is commendable and exciting for the marketplace. Hog prices closed lower on the National Direct Afternoon Hog Report, down $0.37 with a weighted average of $42.30 on 15,566 head. December corn is down 3 3/4 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is down $1.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 160.29 points and NASDAQ is up 140.85 points.

LIVE CATTLE:
The live cattle contracts were able to keep support and momentum through the day's close and thankfully closed higher. August live cattle closed $0.55 higher at $101.45, October live cattle closed $1.05 higher at $106.05 and December live cattle closed $1.07 higher at $109.95. The live cattle market's 40-day moving average sits at $97.83 and the 100-day moving average sits at $96.18. After Wednesday morning's Fed Cattle Exchange, trade loosened up and packers and feeders started working deals. Throughout most of the Southern Plains, cattle traded for $97.00 to $97.50, which was mostly $1.00 stronger than last week's weighted average. In the Northern Plains, feeders were able to move cattle for $160, $2.00 higher than last week. Despite Wednesday's trade, some feeders are holding their ground and still have asking prices at $98 to $100 in the south and $162 in the north. Wednesday's slaughter is estimated at 119,000 head, 2,000 head more than a week ago and 2,000 head less than a year ago.

Boxed beef prices closed mixed: choice down $1.85 ($201.11) and select up $1.17 ($189.49) with a movement of 174 loads (100.13 loads of choice, 26.72 loads of select, 15.70 loads of trim and 31.04 loads of ground beef).

THURSDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steadily to slightly stronger. Thankfully the cattle that have already sold this week are for, on average, greater money than a week ago, but of the feeders that have yet to sell, most of them seem firm on their asking prices.

FEEDER CATTLE:
Feeder cattle contracts kept with their earlier set pace of steadily higher all through Wednesday's trade. August feeder cattle closed $1.27 higher at $141.97, September feeder cattle closed $1.27 higher at $142.57 and October feeder cattle closed $1.32 higher at $143.25. Currently the feeder cattle 40-day moving average sits at $135.79 and the 100-day moving average sits at $127.59. At OKC West Livestock Auction in El Reno, Oklahoma, compared to last week, feeder steers sold steady to $3.00 lower and feeder heifers sold $2.00 to $4.00 lower. Steer and heifer calves were not well tested, but lower undertones were noted there as well. Thankfully the state has recently received some rain fall and cooler temperatures, which is helping to lessen the stress on cattle. The CME feeder cattle index 7/28/2020: up $0.06, $139.83.

LEAN HOGS:
The lean hog contracts closed mostly in a disappointing fashion, closing anywhere from $0.50 to $1.12 lower. August lean hogs closed $1.12 lower at $53.07, October lean hogs closed $0.90 lower at $49.82 and December lean hogs closed $0.77 lower at $51.02. Even though the cash prices were lower, selling upwards of 15,566 head is a win for the market. With the backlog of hogs, getting product worked through the system is a high priority. Pork cutouts total 334.92 loads with 303.98 loads of pork cuts and 30.94 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $1.50, $67.91. Wednesday's slaughter is estimated at 477,000 head, 5,000 head more than a week and year ago. The CME lean hog index 7/27/2020: up $0.87, $51.10.

THURSDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady. Thursday's cash hog market may be slightly lower to steady, but if the market can once again move a steep volume of hogs, it's a strong win for the industry.


#completeherdhealth

Wednesday Midday Livestock Market Summary - Cattle Contracts Keep Scaling Higher

General Comments
October live cattle are up $0.70 at $105.7, August feeder cattle are up $0.63 at $141.325, August lean hogs are down $1.48 at $52.725, December corn is down 2 3/4 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is down $1.50. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 98.28 points and NASDAQ is up 105.34 points. Thus far Wednesday has been a methodical day, trading steadily higher in cattle contracts but leaving the lean hog contracts to trade $1.00 lower through most of the complex. Cash cattle trade is starting to develop at mostly $1.00 higher throughout the Northern and Southern plains.

LIVE CATTLE
Live cattle contracts have traded steadily higher all throughout Wednesday's morning hours. Aided by the strength rallying in the feeder cattle complex both on the board and throughout the nation's sales, the market has scaled steadily higher and has been accompanied by slightly stronger cash cattle sales. August live cattle are up $0.37 at $101.27, October live cattle are up $0.80 at $105.80 and December live cattle are up $0.57 at $109.47. Cash cattle trade started the day out with Wednesday's Fed Cattle Exchange where there was a good test of the market and after the online sale some interested was noticed throughout the countryside. There have been a few deals reported by a Regional packer in Nebraska for $160, and some light traded developed in Texas for $97.

The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction listed a total of 1,507 head, with 1,245 actually sold, 262 head listed as unsold, and zero head listed as PO (Passed Offer). Only Kansas and Texas were offering cattle today, the breakdown looks like this: Kansas 622 total head, with 360 head sold at $97.00-$97.50, which left 262 head unsold; Texas 885 total head, all of which sold at $97.00-$97.50. The delivery date/weighted averages breakdown is as listed: 1-9-day delivery: 738 head total, 550 head sold, with a weighted average price of $97.50; 1-17-day delivery 769 head total, 695 head sold, with a weighted average price of $97.14.

Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $1.32 ($201.64) and select up $0.62 ($188.94) with a movement of 108 loads (69.15 loads of choice, 17.30 loads of select, 4.98 loads of trim and 17.01 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE
The feeder cattle contracts are leading the upward trend in the cattle market as their support is duly noted -- optimism and strength transpiring on the board, and plenty of buyer interest through this week's sales. The market's ambition will be pressured once again by the strong resistance embedded at $144. August feeder cattle are up $0.82 at $141.52, September feeders are up $1.07 at $142.37 and October feeders are up $1.07 at $143.00.

LEAN HOGS
Not seeming to be able to muster the support needed to move contracts higher, the lean hog complex dips lower again heading into Wednesday's afternoon hours. August lean hogs are down $1.25 at $52.95, October lean hogs are down $1.07 at $49.65 and December lean hogs are down $0.95 at $50.85. Midday cash prices were disappointing as the market's been extremely aggressive earlier in the week, but with packers buying such vast volumes of hogs, the weaker trade come Wednesday makes sense.

Hog prices are lower on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $1.28 with a weighted average of $41.39, ranging from $37.00 to $44.00 on 4,578 head and a five-day rolling average of $39.73. Pork cutouts total 193.60 loads with 173.59 loads of pork cuts and 20.01 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $0.79, $70.20.


#completecalfcare

Wednesday Morning Livestock Market Summary - Firming Cash Cattle Prices Drives Expected Support

General Comments:
Limited cash cattle trade started to develop Tuesday, but the focus on higher price levels is sparking some expectations of further support as the week continues. Light trade took place across the South Tuesday at $97 to $97.50 per cwt. This is generally $1 to $2 per cwt higher than last week's price levels in these regions, creating a firm undertone as feeders hold to elevated asking prices of $100 per cwt live and $162 per cwt dressed. Although there still needs to be quite a bit of trade yet to develop, these price levels and a firming market trend will likely go a long way in driving prices higher through the end of July. Futures trade is expected higher as follow-through buyer support is steadily moving back into the market. The inability for early week losses to regain any sense of momentum Tuesday indicates that the abrupt move lower on Monday was an opportunity for many traders to readjust positions in what could test July resistance levels in the upcoming days. Currently live cattle futures remain in the top end of a wide sideways market trend, with a move above $106.60 per cwt in October futures triggering a breakout shift to the upside. Although there continues to be concerns of lackluster beef demand growth surrounding growing coronavirus numbers, the focus of tighter cattle supplies through the end of the year is likely to leave markets less restricted to upside market potential over the coming days and weeks. Wednesday's slaughter is expected at 118,000 head.
Lean hog futures are expected mixed in sluggish morning trade Wednesday. Although daily slaughter expectations continue to hover around the 475,000 level day after day, the amount of revisions is slightly concerning, as revised slaughter numbers in the hog market seem to be a daily occurrence. A combination of labor and mechanical issues at plants adds up to lower production, but the fact that early estimates of production seem to be rather aggressive day after day could have more to do with the need for revisions, than reductions in plant expectations. The interesting thing is that even with the amount of revisions seen, futures and cash markets seem to be taking these moves in stride with no significant impact on price levels. The focus on continued large numbers of market-ready hogs available to the market, while packer margins remain strong, is allowing packers to remain aggressive and push for higher production levels even with the current challenges. The price spread between nearby and deferred lean hog contracts continues to focus on uncertain pork demand through the end of the year while traders focus on the ability to work through the current glut of hogs in the market. This will keep nearby October contracts hovering just above the $50 per cwt price levels, while spring and summer 2021 contracts are holding strong premiums of $10 to $25 per cwt based on tighter supplies in the new year. Cash hog prices are expected $1 lower to $1 higher with most bids expected steady to 50 cents higher. Slaughter Wednesday is expected at 475,000 head. Saturday runs are expected near 186,000 head.
BULL SIDEBEAR SIDE
1)
Firm gains in cash cattle trade Tuesday is setting the bar higher for the rest of the cattle market as the week continues. Live cattle traded in the South at $97 to $97.5 per cwt, $1 to $2 per cwt higher than last week. Similar gains through the rest of the week would likely spark renewed support moving into the month of August.
1)
Growing coronavirus cases is adding to additional market concerns as there is uncertainty about how school re-openings will be affected in the coming weeks. This will continue to impact overall demand in the food service industry, making short- and long-term planning and buying very difficult for many institutions.
2)
Strong gains in nearby live cattle and feeder cattle futures Tuesday offset bearish indications which developed Monday. The potential to drive additional buyer interest into the complex midweek is likely to test nearby resistance levels in live cattle futures.
2)
Even though it is possible that boxed beef values have hit or are near seasonal lows, the lack of market support in the last week could create stagnant beef values over the near future. The inability to push wholesale prices higher could quickly derail recent futures gains.
3)
Expanding prices spreads in 2021 contracts is rebuilding long-term support to the lean hog complex, which has been mired by uncertainty and production challenges through the year. This could move the discussion away from abundant current supplies and to potential market growth opportunities in the coming months.
3)
Volatile moves in pork cutout values is causing moderate concerns in the complex. This may add even more uncertainty, limiting the ability for nearby contracts to hold recent gains.
4)
Active cash market gains over the last week has sparked underlying fundamental support across the complex. This is helping to drive renewed interest through the entire complex as traders look for further fundamental gains moving into the month of August.
4)
Labor issues at packing plants continue to be a daily struggle in order to meet expected slaughter projections. The focus on the ability to keep and maintain full production crews will likely be a major challenge for the entire meat industry through the end of the year.



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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Tuesday Closing Livestock Market Summary - Stronger Undertones Encourage the Market

GENERAL COMMENTS:
Tuesday shaped up to be a strong day for the livestock sector. All three markets were able to close with exciting drivers and look to Wednesday to further that movement. Cash hog prices closed just slightly lower on the National Direct Afternoon Hog Report, down $0.02 with a weighted average of $42.61 on another large volume of hogs traded -- 12,786 head sold. December corn is down 4 1/2 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is down $4.00. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 205.49 points and NASDAQ is down 134.18 points.
LIVE CATTLE:
The board was able to close higher throughout the market, feeling fueled by the excitement in feeder cattle contracts and encouraged by the stronger trend in cash cattle prices. August live cattle closed $0.47 higher at $100.90, October live cattle closed $1.17 higher at $105.00 and December live cattle closed $0.80 higher at $108.87. It's going to be an interesting cash cattle week as packers are not interested in paying feeder's full asking price, but feeders seem unwilling, at this point, to accept anything less in the north. There were some cattle that traded in Kansas and Texas Tuesday afternoon for $95 to $97 -- the upper end of trade puts prices $1.00 to $2.00 stronger so far this week. Tuesday's slaughter is estimated at 119,000 head -- 1,000 head more than a week ago and steady with a year ago.
Boxed beef prices closed mixed: choice up $0.41 ($202.96) and select down $1.81 ($188.32) with a movement of 124 loads (63.99 loads of choice, 36.71 loads of select, 14.60 loads of trim and 8.68 loads of ground beef).
WEDNESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Slightly stronger. Watching cash cattle trade this week is going to be fun. Southern cattle are most likely going to trade with a stronger tone, but the real question surrounds the lighter showlists in the north. It wouldn't be surprising to see northern cattle wait until the later part of the week and sell for full asking prices as feeders are quite adamant about getting $160 this week.
FEEDER CATTLE:
Feeder cattle contracts closed the day fully higher, with nearby contracts feeling supported by the strong test developing throughout the video auctions and sale barns. August feeder closed $1.35 higher at $140.70, September feeders closed $1.67 stronger at $141.30 and October feeders closed $1.25 higher at $141.92. Thankfully Tuesday was able to recover some of what Monday lost, but the market will have to decide if the pressure at $144 is strong enough to overpower how well calves and feeders are trading throughout the countryside.
Watching Superior's Video Royale sale hasn't disappointed, and if the week can continue with how strong the cattle are selling Tuesday afternoon, there will be a lot of producers heading home with their prayers answered. Sharing just a couple of lots that sold for example, there were some non-programmed steers weighing 850 pounds for delivery August 1 through August 10 that sold for $136. Some steers weighing 850 pounds that were both GAP 4 and NHTC certified for delivery late September/early October sold for a strong $167. Steers weighing 885 pounds that were both GAP 1 and NHTC certified for delivery towards the end of August sold for $140. And another group of steers weighing 860 pounds that were again NHTC and GAP 4 certified for delivery early September sold for $157. The CME feeder cattle index 7/27/2020: down $0.22, $139.77.
LEAN HOGS:
Still thrilled with Monday's ginormous jump in cash hog prices, the nearby lean hog contracts closed slightly lower, but the deferred contracts were still able to close $0.15 to $0.60 higher. August lean hogs closed $0.35 lower at $54.20, October lean hogs closed $0.02 lower at $50.72 and December lean hogs closed $0.25 higher at $51.80. Tuesday's movement of pork cutouts was encouraging because, if product can keep getting shipped out to the consumers and quickly picked up from the retail counters, the backlog will be worked through sooner than later. Pork cutouts totaled 395.43 loads with 357.65 loads of pork cuts and 37.78 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $1.89, $69.41. Tuesday's slaughter is estimated at 475,000 head, 2,000 head more than a week ago and 7,000 head more than a year ago. The CME lean hog index 7/24/2020: up $0.10, $50.23.
WEDNESDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Slightly stronger. It's extremely encouraging that cash hog prices only closed $0.02 lower off Monday's close and once again a significant volume of 12,786 head. It wouldn't be surprising to see Wednesday come out and post strong prices again as it seems packers need hogs and they need them now.


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