The livestock complex pushed significantly higher again Wednesday with the exception of February hogs, which has three trading day remaining before they go off the board. Cattle did not find support from cash, but hogs did.
Cattle: Higher. Futures: Mixed. Live Equiv: $207.80 -$1.20*
Hogs: Steady. Futures: Higher. Lean Equiv: $112.12 +$7.55**
*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.
Live cattle futures were able to close with triple-digit gains in most contracts. Some of the strength stemmed from the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report showing beef production higher compared to January’s estimate, but also higher prices. Average prices for the first and second quarters remained the same at $139 and $136 respectively.
However, third quarter price was raised $1.00 with fourth quarter price raised $2.00 increasing the average price for the year to $137.50, an increase of $0.50 from the January estimate. Cash did not provide any solid direction Wednesday with both packers and feedlots holding out. The few that were traded did not provide much hope for strong cash gains this week.
Boxed beef continues to decline with choice down $1.67 and select down $1.79. Weekly export sales may provide some direction Thursday.