DTN Livestock Close: Cattle Futures Reboard the Bullish Train

    Photo: Texas AgriLife

    Live and feeder futures exploded higher with most months settling at new contract highs. Lean hog issues closed lower, pressured by long liquidation and the reassertion of cattle/hog spreads.

    Midday: New contracts highs have been set in most live cattle and feeder cattle contracts with triple-digit rallies developing during morning trade. The aggressive support seen through the Wednesday session is bringing another round of buyer support to the complex with live cattle futures pushing prices near $132 per cwt while May feeder cattle futures are holding prices above $140 per cwt.


    New contract highs have been set in live cattle and feeder cattle contracts as sharp triple-digit gains are holding Wednesday morning. This support has draw commercial and investment buyer support back into the market. Lean hog trade remains mixed within a narrow range with light activity limiting overall market movement through the complex.

    Corn prices are mixed to lower in light trade. May corn futures are 1 cent lower. Stock markets are higher in light trade. The Dow Jones is 55 points higher while Nasdaq is up 7 points.


    Traders in the live cattle complex are trying to keep up with the aggressive upward movement seen in feeder cattle markets with triple-digit gains quickly and steadily moving the market higher. This has helped traders to keep focused on seasonal support and additional buyer activity through the complex.

    Additional interest is likely to move into the complex through the end of the week as cash markets develop and additional contract highs are set. Cash cattle sales on the Fed Cattle Exchange Auction posted a total of 5,448 head listed for sale (40 Holstein) 1,945 head sold.

    • 1-9 Day Delivery: 353 head, weighted average price $131.68
    • 1-17 Day Delivery: 158 head, weighted average price $129.89
    • 17-30 Day Delivery: 1,394 head, weighted average price $125.42 Holstein
    • 1-17 Day Delivery: 40 head, weighted average price $93.50.

    This is about $3 higher than last weeks weighted average. Feedlot trade remains undeveloped with bids quiet and asking prices hard to pin down in most areas at this point.

    Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $0.24 lower (select) and up $0.42 per cwt (choice) with moderate movement of 82 total loads reported (37 loads of choice cuts, 21 loads of select cuts, 6 loads of trimmings, 18 loads of ground beef).


    Gains in feeder cattle futures are reaching $3 per cwt in late summer contracts with the focus on long term supply tightness a possibility in both live cattle and feeder cattle markets. Commercial buyer interest continues to flood into the market during the last week of April with no sign of this activity slowing which may create some uncertainty during early May.

    Summer contracts are holding a $4 to $5 per cwt premium on spring contracts, but little additional other market shifts are seen through the complex which is drawing wide attention to the market at this point.


    Lean hog futures have pulled back from narrow gains seen during most of the morning as traders are now focusing on the pressure seen in morning cash hog markets and the pullback in cutout reports.

    This latest softness in lean hog futures is not expected to create any significant damage to the overall movement in the lean hog futures market as traders continue to draw buyer support to the market with traders through the end of the week with buyers look for long term seasonal support.

    Cash prices are lower at midday on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.43 at $53.21 per cwt with the range from $49.00 to $54.00 on 5,459 head reported sold.

    Cash prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the Iowa Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report.

    The National Pork Plant Report reported 206 loads selling with prices fell $0.51 per cwt. Lean hog index for 4/24 is at $60.16 down $0.33 with a projected two-day index of $59.93 down $0.23.

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