DTN Midday Livestock Comments 03/04 11:38
Thursday's Export Report Tries to Encourage Livestock Sector
It's a tough environment for the livestock contracts as cash cattle are
trending steady to somewhat lower and the lean hog market is running out of
DTN Livestock Analyst
Live cattle futures would like to rally higher but that's somewhat hard to
do when the cash cattle market is drifting lower. The livestock contracts were
positively energized by Thursday's strong export report, but the market still
must weigh out the current fundamental tones before it can jump to solely
trading higher and relish in the market's demand. May corn is up 2 3/4 cents
per bushel and May soybean meal is up $2.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
is up 38.56 points and NASDAQ is down 48.79 points.
It's too bad so many cattle traded Wednesday as Thursday could have
supported the cash cattle market a little bit more after seeing the positive
news from the weekly export report. The live cattle contracts are trying to
trade higher, but with cash cattle selling steady to somewhat weaker the
support to rally the contracts just isn't there. April live cattle are down
$0.02 at $119.37, June live cattle are up $0.12 at $117.80 and August live
cattle are up $0.12 at $117.02. The cash cattle market is pretty quiet
following Wednesday's trade with just a few scattered bids being offered. Bids
of $114 and $180 are noted in Iowa. Nebraska has seen some bids come in at $178
and the South is noting light packer inquiry but no bids thus far.
Beef net sales of 22,600 metric tons (mt) reported for 2021 were up
noticeably from the previous week and up 15% from the prior 4-week average. The
three primary increases were from South Korea (6,800 mt), China (2,400 mt) and
Japan (3,800 mt).
Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice up $0.88 ($233.91) and select down $2.01
($222.23) with a movement of 66 loads (29.26 loads of choice, 12.02 loads of
select, 14.11 loads of trim and 10.75 loads of ground beef).
It's another lower day in the feeder cattle futures as corn prices are
creeping higher. The futures are skeptical of the technical levels while
fundamental support lags and the cash cattle market is steady to weaker this
week. March feeders are down $0.70 at $136.30, April feeders are down $1.12 at
$140.17 and May feeders are down $0.92 at $143.65. It's unlikely feeder cattle
prices throughout the countryside will improve before the week's end with cost
of gains continuing to scale higher. But demand for grass calves continues to
be where the market is finding most of its interest.
Support throughout the lean hog futures has been hit or miss Thursday
morning as the contracts try to decide if the market has much upward momentum
left in this run or not. The market has had such a fruitful rally, traders are
growing leery but are still trying to gauge how much long-term demand is going
to be pumped into the market as China struggles to get their African swine
fever issue under control. April lean hogs are down $0.02 at $87.90, June lean
hogs are up $0.10 at $94.95 and July lean hogs are down $0.05 at $95.42.
The projected two-day CME Lean Hog Index for 3/3/2021 is up $0.79 at $84.06,
and the actual index for 3/2/2021 is up $0.64 at $83.27. Hog prices are sharply
higher on the National Direct Afternoon Hog Report, up $5.31 with a weighted
average of $84.73, ranging from $75.00 to $89.00 on 5,931 head and a five-day
rolling average of $79.88. Pork cutouts total 140.71 loads with 125.58 loads of
pork cuts and 15.13 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $6.02, $97.43.
Pork net sales of 59,600 metric tons (mt) reported for 2021 were up
noticeably from the previous week and up 68% from the prior 4-week average. The
three primary increases were from China (28,000 mt), Mexico (14,500 mt) and
Japan (4,600 mt).
ShayLe Stewart can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org
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