DTN Livestock Midday: Modest Support Works Its Way In

    Heading into Tuesday afternoon, the livestock contracts are looking for fundamental direction to help shape this week’s trade.


    The livestock complex is seeing fairly even, modest support throughout the entire market. Both the live cattle and lean hog contracts are looking for support from the fundamental side of the market. If the fundamentals do come to support the complex, then fully higher trade should be achievable.

    March corn is down 3 3/4 cents per bushel and March soybean meal is up $5.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 129.09 points and NASDAQ is down 39.63 points.


    Live cattle futures are anxious for the cash cattle market to trade at which point the futures market will feel freer to trade robustly. The market is thriving on the higher boxed beef prices and the currentness of the market.

    Traders know that it’s going to be an odd week for the cash market given that it’s a holiday shortened week, but traders still want the green light from the cash market before boldly supporting the technical side of the market. December live cattle are up $0.37 at $137.67, February live cattle are down $0.47 at $138.80 and April live cattle are down $0.02 at $143.65.

    The cash cattle market hasn’t seen any interest yet and it’s likely the bulk of the week’s trade waits until Wednesday to really break loose. Asking prices are noted at $137 to $138 in the South; the North has yet to disclose what their asking prices will be.

    Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $2.01 ($266.49) and select up $2.55 ($257.73) with a movement of 65 loads (46.27 loads of choice, 7.08 loads of select, 3.78 loads of trim and 7.72 loads of ground beef).


    Upon the corn market’s regression Tuesday morning, the feeder cattle contracts are trading higher as they feel relief from higher input prices and are getting mild support from the live cattle contracts. January feeders are up $0.70 at $163.10, March feeders are up $1.00 at $164.27 and April feeders are up $0.87 at $167.80.

    So long as the corn market continues to veer lower and the live cattle market can help support the market somewhat, feeder futures stand a good chance at closing higher. If the cash cattle market can indeed trade cattle steady to somewhat higher this week, then the market really stands a good chance at keeping its upward momentum.


    Nearby lean hog futures are softer, but the rest of the complex is continuing its upward progression as the market is bullish for 2022. February lean hogs are down $0.70 at $82.95, April lean hogs are down $0.07 at $87.65 and June lean hogs are up $0.42 at $98.50.

    Tuesday’s weaker cash close and weaker pork cutout values is what’s weighing on the nearby contracts, but if those market can close higher Tuesday afternoon there’s a strong likelihood the complex regains its fully higher status.

    The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 12/27/2021 is up $0.65 at $71.82, and the actual index for 12/23/2021 is down $0.50 at $71.17. There are no comparisons to be drawn in the cash hog market as packers had problems submitting data Monday.

    There have been 4,470 head sold, with weighted average of $60.18, ranging from $58.00 to $62.00 and a five-day rolling average of $60.59. Pork cutouts total 163.10 loads with 144.43 loads of pork cuts and 18.67 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $3.78, $90.11.

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