Live cattle just could not find support even though feeder cattle were higher. The February live cattle contract goes of the board Monday, leaving April as front month. Hog futures have been on a freefall with three days of fund selling. This may have run its course but outside influences may keep pressure on the market.
Cattle: Steady. Futures: Lower. Live Equiv: $196.13 +$0.22*
Hogs: Lower. Futures: Mixed. Lean Equiv: $120.77 -$0.71**
*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 have fallen back to levels they were at a month ago. Even with higher cash prices over the period, the anticipation is that it may now have run its course. Over much of the past month, boxed beef prices had been declining. Boxed beef on Friday finally showed a positive number for select cuts with a gain of $0.86, however choice declined $0.97. Cash was steady in the South with Northern trade $1.00 higher.
The Cattle on Feed report is considered neutral and should have no significant impact on the market. On feed numbers totaled 12.2 million head and were 101% or 1% higher than a year ago compared to the average trade estimate of 100.7%. Placements were 995 compared to the average estimate of 98.76%.
Marketings in January came in at 97% compared to the trade estimate of 97.1%. Cattle may have a struggle ahead of it Monday based on the surge of grain prices again following developing news of more severe sanctions on Russia. Monday is the final day to trade February live cattle.