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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          07/25 12:11

   Cattle Futures Continue Higher       

   Firm triple-digit gains continue to develop in front-month cattle futures. 
The focus on the upcoming cattle on feed report Friday afternoon is keeping 
most traders active during midday. Lean hog futures have eroded from early 
gains as trade volume has slowed. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst


   Firm follow-through buyer support is holding through the cattle complex with 
August futures able to sustain and hold triple-digit gains through most of the 
session. Hog futures have backed away from early buyer support as traders once 
again turn to concern about longer-term supply growth. Corn futures are lower 
at midday. September corn futures are 1/2 cent per bushel lower. Stock markets 
are lwoer in light trade. The Dow Jones is 125 points lower while Nasdaq is 
down 21 points.


   Strong gains are seen in front-month August futures with traders focusing on 
the strong fundamental support seen through the complex. If cattle on feed 
numbers come in at or below estimated levels, additional strong support could 
redevelop early next week. There is so much focus on the tight supplies of 
cattle, that even a hint of reduced demand at higher prices could cause a 
significant market correction. But so far, that has been held at bay. Cash 
cattle activity still continues to be seen through the morning, with aggressive 
price support firm to higher from Thursday's sales levels. The expectation that 
most business will be done before the cattle on feed report could help to 
solidify additional trade activity midday. Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, 
$1.80 per cwt higher (select) and up $1.74 per cwt (choice) with light movement 
of 53 total loads reported (28 loads of choice cuts, 17 loads of select cuts, 
zero loads of trimmings, seven loads of ground beef).


   Moderate to strong buyer support has redeveloped in the feeder cattle 
futures despite mixed trade activity early in the session. The focus on the 
cattle on feed report and cattle inventory report is helping to drive prices 
higher. Deferred futures are holding triple-digit gains with any long-term 
shift in cow numbers likely to be affecting 2015 contracts most significantly 
as traders look for longer-term trends. 


   Early support in the lean hog futures market was unable to hold as trade 
pressure developed in nearby contracts. Once short covering was accomplished, 
the market has once again felt a vacuum of buyer interest, which could erode 
markets even further through afternoon trade. It is uncertain just how much 
additional volume will develop before closing bell. Cash prices are lower on 
the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell 
$1.82 per cwt to $122.64 per cwt with the range from $111.00 to $124.50 per cwt 
on 2,710 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa Minnesota Direct 
morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $2.80 per cwt to 
$123.48 per cwt with the range from $122.00 to $124.50 per cwt on 530 head 
reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report is reported 100 loads selling as 
prices gaining $1.56 per cwt. Lean hog index for 7/23 is at 131.19 down 0.85, 
with a projected two-day index of $130.33 down 0.86.

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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