DTN Livestock Open: Volatility May Be Limited

    ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

    The cattle complex tried to hold in positive territory with only February live cattle able to close in the green as it remains close to underlying cash. Hogs had quite the turnaround but not until after making new contract highs again. Cash was higher and should keep futures from falling very far.

    Cattle: Higher. Futures: Mixed. Live Equiv: $211.35 -$1.36*
    Hogs: Higher. Futures: Higher. Lean Equiv: $104.39 +$0.77**
    *Based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue. (The Live Cattle Equiv. Index has been updated to depict recent changes in live cattle weights and grading percentages.)
    ** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue.


    Cattle futures traded in a tight range Thursday as higher cash this week had already been factored in. Even though they traded in a tight range, February, April and June live cattle futures made new contract highs before slipping slightly lower into the close.

    Cash activity took place yesterday as expected providing solid numbers for the week. Southern cattle traded $3.00 to $4.00 higher while Northern cattle traded $4.00 higher. Packers needed to be more aggressive in order to maintain an increasing slaughter pace.

    Boxed beef is a concern as choice closed $1.69 lower with select down $3.10. Feeder cattle futures traded in a wider range Thursday but still closed with minor losses. Markets may coast into the weekend.

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