DTN Livestock Midday: Cattle Trade Sideways, Mixed While Hogs Hustle

    ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

    Seeing where pork processing ends up for the day and how pork cutout prices fare through the afternoon will be insightful as to how Monday’s market could be approached.


    The cattle complex hasn’t been very lively nor inspiring thus far Friday, but the lean hog complex continues to muster support and surge higher. With pork cutout prices holding mostly steady, the market is getting enough fundamental support to encourage robust technical trade.

    March corn is up 5 cents per bushel and March soybean meal is up $0.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 219.46 points and NASDAQ is down 160.83 points.


    Live cattle futures are unwilling to test resistance at $148, so the sideways/lower chop continues. February live cattle are down $0.30 at $143.10, April live cattle are down $0.95 at $145.82 and June live cattle are down $0.67 at $141.47. Friday’s movement has been light thus far with the boxed beef report only noting 75 loads.

    Next Tuesday, the market will see another USDA Cold Storage report and it will be interesting to know where supplies sit ahead of the big beef demand that usually comes with the summer months. The cash cattle market hasn’t seen any renewed interest and its looking like the majority of this week’s business is done. Asking prices for cattle left on showlists are around $143 in the South and $228-plus in the North.

    Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $2.39 ($267.20) and select down $0.58 ($264.27) with a movement of 75 loads (48.51 loads of choice, 10.37 loads of select, 10.78 loads of trim and 4.95 loads of ground beef).


    Feeder cattle futures are mixed — lower in its nearby contracts, but stronger in the deferred months. March feeders are down $0.90 at $165.30, April feeders are down $0.80 at $170.35 and May feeders are down $0.32 at $175.40. The grain complex is subject to change based on weather and any developments with Ukraine/Russia, but prices further into 2022 are significantly lower than today’s market.

    The feeder cattle complex knows opportunity is laced through all of the 2022 market, but it’s likely the latter part of the third quarter and fourth quarter of 2022 hold substantial opportunities for feeders as supplies become extremely thin.


    The lean hog market continues to keep with its higher climb and with cash prices holding strong and pork cutout values trading mostly steady, fundamentals are supporting the move. April lean hogs are up $0.57 at $108.15, June lean hogs are up $0.62 at $117.82 and July lean hogs are up $0.82 at $116.92.

    Processing speeds have lagged over the last two days, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Friday’s estimated slaughter weaker too as packers want to meet the market’s need but they also know hustling too much will cost them as cash prices will rise.

    The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 2/16/2022 is up $0.90 at $94.24, and the actual index for 2/15/2022 is up $1.50 at $93.34. Hog prices average $85.81, ranging from $82.00 to $100.00 on 2,556 head and a five-day rolling average of $85.79. Pork cutouts total 105.54 loads with 92.46 loads of pork cuts and 13.08 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $0.75, $115.79.

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