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DTN Midday Livestock Comments 12/12 11:44

DTN Midday Livestock Comments 12/12 11:44

Live Cattle Futures Lead Complex Higher

Firm follow-through buying in nearby live cattle trade has helped to support
overall buyer activity in the lightly traded Wednesday session.

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst

General Comments

Steady buyer support has moved through all livestock trade with nearby gains
in live cattle futures solidifying the overall cattle complex as light to
moderate volume is seen through the complex. Mixed trade in a narrow range
through the lean hog complex has limited overall direction in the market midday
Wednesday. Corn markets are higher in light trade. March corn futures are 1/2
cent higher. Stock markets are higher in active trade. Dow Jones is 385 points
higher with Nasdaq up 145 points.


Firm gains have quickly and steadily moved into nearby live cattle trade
with lightly traded December contracts holding 72 cent gains, while February
futures are 67 cents higher at midday. This overall support in the complex
continued to focus on recent gains in feeder cattle trade, but the overall
expectation that traders look for firming fundamentals to support the market
through the end of the year. All but June contracts are trading higher,
although most contracts are holding single-digit gains based on very limited
trade volume in many of the late month contract months. The firmness in
February futures is the main focus of most traders. A move above $123 per cwt
at closing bell is likely to help spark some follow through support later in
the week. Cash cattle trade still remains undeveloped although a few bids have
surfaced with prices at $185 to $187 per cwt dressed. Asking prices remain at
$121 to $122 live and $190 and higher dressed. It is likely to be Thursday or
Friday before active trade is seen, although more interest is very likely the
rest of the afternoon Wednesday. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $0.31
higher (select) and down $2.83 per cwt (choice) with moderate movement of 94
total loads reported (52 loads of choice cuts, 18 loads of select cuts, 6 loads
of trimmings, 19 loads of ground beef).


Follow through buyer is slowly developing in feeder cattle trade Wednesday.
Firmness in corn prices is limiting overall buyer activity as traders seem to
have backed out of the leadership role seen early in the week, and now are
content following gains in live cattle trade. This is keeping prices 30 to 50
cents per cwt higher as the firm undertone seen Tuesday continues, but momentum
seems to be lacking midweek. Market consistency is the main driver of the
recent gains Wednesday morning with prices likely to hover within the current
tight trading range through the rest of the session.


Limited market direction is seen Wednesday morning through the entire lean
hog complex. The focus on firming grain market trade is helping to spark some
underlying support move back into the hog complex. The move higher in soybean
prices is more of a reaction to the rumors that China buying is starting to
begin, and the hope that this will carry over to the hog complex is supporting
price levels. Markets remain in a narrow trading range with prices 17 cents
lower to 25 cents higher, as very light volume is seen through the complex.
Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The
weighted average price is $0.20 lower at $46.40 per cwt with the range from
$42.00 to $47.21 on 6,537 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the
Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is
$0.43 lower at $45.95 per cwt with the range from $42.00 to $46.50 on 3,502
head reported sold. Pork carcass values are unavailable at this time. Lean hog
index for 12/10 is $55.98, down 0.14, with a projected two-day index is $55.54,
down 0.44.

Rick Kment can be reached at


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