Live cattle futures moved within a tight range Thursday with traders having little to go on. Most of the trading for the week has been done at steady cash. Feeder cattle were the target of spread trading. Hog futures tried to rally after rejecting the lows earlier in the day with nearby months not getting the attention from buyers as much as the back months.
Cattle: Steady. Futures: Mixed. Live Equiv: $202.68 +$0.21*
Hogs: Steady. Futures: Mixed. Lean Equiv: $110.52 -$1.26**
*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.
The livestock complex showed the evidence of spread trading Thursday. Traders shied away from buying in nearby months, preferring to buy more aggressively in later months. Without any further change in cash this week, traders were not sure what to do. Boxed beef prices did not help as choice was down $0.04 with select up $0.17.
Weekly export sales were a bit disappointing at 14,000 mt. This was down 39% from the previous week. China was not listed as one of the top buyers. Traders may remain cautious Friday morning as they ponder the release of the World Agricultural Supply and Demand report and what that might mean for feed prices.