Last week may have taken the last of the year’s steam right out of the market. Live cattle, feeder cattle and lean hog contracts all are lower, with no good indication that a shift in direction is near.
March corn is up 3/4 cent per bushel and January soybean meal is up $2.90. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 110.38 points and NASDAQ is up 26.61 points.
The board remains bearish and packers are looking to wrap up this week’s trade early in the week. December live cattle are up $0.17 at $122.40, February live cattle are down $0.15 at $125.65 and April live cattle are down $0.22 at $126.50.
Packers are quick to get to business this week. No cattle have been bid on yet, but light inquiry is common throughout fat cattle country Monday morning. In Nebraska asking prices are at $195-plus dressed and $123 live. Some trade may start as early as Monday afternoon, though more likely Tuesday.
According to the Friday afternoon Mandatory reports weekly trade volumes were as follows: Kansas 14,836, Nebraska 18,902, Iowa 19,762, and Texas and Colorado were not available due to confidentiality.
Boxed beef prices are significantly higher: choice up $2.17 ($211.87) and select up $2.76 ($203.79) with a movement of 45 loads (18.87 loads of choice, 8.63 loads of select, 6.73 loads of trim and 10.73 loads of ground beef).
Feeder cattle contracts have fallen near $1.00 compared to Friday’s close. January feeder cattle contracts are down $0.95 at $143.35, March feeders are down $0.75 at $143.62 and April feeders are down $0.75 at $145.75. Sale barns are mostly shut down and don’t plan to host more sales until after the first of the year.
In an attempt to mitigate the shortage of pork supplies and lessen the outrageous cost of currently available supplies, China announced Monday morning it plans to cut tariffs on Jan. 1 on more than 850 products, including frozen pork.
This isn’t exclusive to the U.S. but extends to other exporting countries as well. You might roll your eyes at the new break and wonder why in the world current prices are re-electing the news. Having been burned on too much hopefulness before such deals were put in place, the lean hog market is tired of headlines and looks for action.
February lean hogs are down $1.00 at $69.67, April lean hogs are down $0.45 at $77.05 and May lean hogs are down $0.20 at $83.50.
The projected lean hog index for 12/20/19 is down $0.78 at $59.12, and the actual index for 12/19/19 came in at $59.90, down $0.33. Prices from the National Direct Morning Hog Report are unavailable due to packer submission problems. Pork cutouts totaled 167.02 loads with 144.85 loads of pork cuts and 22.18 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $0.27 at $76.98.
- ShayLe Stewart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org