DTN Livestock Midday: Firm Pressure Develops in Hog Trade

    Early gains in cattle trade have held through most of the morning, but are starting to fade. There remains uncertainty as to just how much support will redevelop late in the session.


    Livestock futures are mixed as early buyer support has had a hard time finding additional support at midday. Gains are holding in most cattle trade, although early buyer support is fading.

    Corn prices are mixed in light trade. May corn futures are 1/4 cent lower. Stock markets are lower in light trade. The Dow Jones is 46 points lower while Nasdaq is down 4 points.


    Light to moderate gains have held in the live cattle complex though most of the morning. But buyer support is slowing as front-month June contracts have now eroded and are holding 40 cent losses. The firm support continues to be seen through the rest of the complex, but traders may be unable to push prices much higher due to the overall lack of movement in the complex and concern that pressure may redevelop through the coming days.

    Cash cattle activity is starting to slowly develop with a few token bids developing. Bids are seen at $120 live basis in the South and $195 to $196 in the North on a dressed basis. So far asking prices are holding at $125 to $126 live basis, but undeveloped on a dressed basis. Activity is likely to be held off until sometime Thursday or Friday.

    The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction today listed a total of 2,982 head, with 413 actually sold, 2,494 head listed as unsold, and 75 head listed as PO (Passed Offer). The state by state breakdown looks like this:

    • KS 488 total head, with 413 head sold at $122.25-$122.50, 0 head unsold, 75 head listed as PO ($121.50);
    • NE 2,494 total head, with 0 head sold, 2,494 head unsold, and 0 head listed as PO;
    • TX – no cattle reported;
    • CO – no cattle reported;
    • IA – no cattle reported;
    • other states (OK, SD, MN) – no cattle reported.

    All cattle listed were 1-9 day delivery with 413 head sold, with a weighted average price of $122.40.

    Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $1.19 higher (select) and up $0.69 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 69 total loads reported (30 loads of choice cuts, 15 loads of select cuts, 11 loads of trimmings, 13 loads of ground beef).


    Feeder cattle futures are higher but holding light to moderate gains despite being able to hold onto triple-digit buyer support earlier in the session. Gains are seen from 5 to 40 cents per cwt higher as buyers try to hang onto previous support and pull back from early losses Tuesday.

    There is likely to be very limited additional trade volume seen through the end of the session, which may open the door for additional pressure over the next several days.


    Early support in lean hog futures trade has slowly eroded through the complex with traders focusing on firm pressure in cash markets and the inability to bring additional buyers to the table Wednesday morning. This has limited losses to 10 to 60 cents per cwt in most contracts, while buyers are looking for longer term direction that may help to bring needed stability to the complex.

    Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $0.55 at $58.33 per cwt with the range from $51.00 to $58.50 on 4,640 head reported sold.

    Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $1.80 at $57.35 per cwt with the range from $53.00 to $58.50 on 100 head reported sold.

    The National Pork Plant Report posted 217 loads selling with carcass values adding $1.69 per cwt. Lean hog index for 4/26 is at $61.75 up 0.52 with a projected two-day index of $62.20, up 0.45.

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