Increased buyer support is moving into the cattle complex with live cattle futures leading the charge higher. Lean hog futures remain mixed in sluggish morning trade.
Firm buyer support continues to develop across cattle trade with prices holding 20 to 60 cent gains. This overall support in the complex continues to bring increased activity in all markets. Mixed trade in hog futures continues to focus on the limited overall activity, and previous market gains.
Corn prices are lower in light trade. July corn futures are 3 cents lower. Stock markets are mixed in light trade. The Dow Jones is 114 points higher while Nasdaq is down 67 points.
Firm gains are holding in live cattle trade with the focus on increased overall support through the entire cattle complex. June and August contracts are leading the market higher with 60 cent gains in each contract month. This is helping to solidify the previous buyer support and likely bring additional commercial and investment trade activity through the end of the week.
The overall focus on the market remains firm with traders closely watching any potential direction in cash trade. Even though beef values have struggled to show strong gains following the Memorial Day holiday. The focus on increased activity could spark some fundamental buying.
Cash cattle activity remains generally quiet early Thursday with bids redeveloping in the same range as seen Wednesday. Bids of $110 live and $177 dressed continue to hold a midday. Asking prices have remained firm at $115 and higher live and $183 to $185 dressed.
Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $0.02 Higher (select) and down $0.40 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 62 total loads reported (24 loads of choice cuts, 20 loads of select cuts, no loads of trimmings, 18 loads of ground beef).
Feeder cattle futures have posted moderate gains through the morning after prices have shifted back and forth due to generally light trade. The gains are seen from 20 to 40 cents per cwt with traders focusing on increased overall support in all cattle markets. There is growing support that may help to draw buyer activity back into the complex. But overall interest is expected to remain sluggish through most of the afternoon.
Narrow trading ranges have held through most of the morning, although most traders seem to be focusing on the overall lack of follow through support and potential for squaring positions following the aggressive market rally this week.
Traders are closely watching the complex to see if buyers will be able and willing to break through short term resistance levels of $80.12 per cwt in July contracts. A move above this price point could spark additional buyer support and move prices even higher through the next couple of weeks.
Cash prices are higher on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is up $1.17 at $75.08 per cwt with the range from $67.00 to $76.00 on 3,477 head reported sold.
The National Pork Plant Report posted 141 loads selling with carcass values gaining $1.10 per cwt. Lean hog index for 6/05 is at $72.50 up 0.77 with a projected two-day index of $73.50, up 1.00.