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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          09/03 11:56

   Sharp Gains Develop in Cattle Futures             

   Triple-digit gains are holding in both live cattle and feeder cattle trade 
at midday. The ability to hold this support through closing bell will likely go 
a long way in helping to develop additional end of the week support to the 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst


   Livestock futures are mixed with cattle trade pushing higher. The 
development of triple-digit gains in both live cattle and feeder cattle markets 
is helping to regain some underlying support through the complex. Lean hog 
futures are weaker at midday with moderate losses allowing the complex to coast 
into the end of the week. Corn prices are lower in light trade. September corn 
futures are 5 cents per bushel lower. Stock markets are higher in light trade. 
The Dow Jones is 101 points higher while Nasdaq is up 15 points.


   Firm triple-digit gains are holding in live cattle futures at midday, 
although there remain questions about if buyer support will be able to hold 
through the end of the session. The price variability during the trading day 
has been very evident through the last couple of weeks, but consistency in 
closing the market anywhere near session highs has been lacking. Without 
consistent upward movement over the next couple of days, the live cattle market 
is going to prove very little, and likely remain in the current choppy pattern. 
Cash cattle markets remain generally undeveloped with bids remaining in the 
same range as seen over the last couple of days. Bids in the South are seen 
around $143 to $144 with Northern Bids of $223 to $225 per cwt. Although the 
desire to get business done by the end of the day exists on both sides, desire 
enough typically is not enough to get it accomplished, which may push activity 
into Friday sometime. Asking prices are at $146 to $148 per cwt in the South 
and $228 and higher in the North. Beef cut-outs at midday are lower, $1.02 
lower (select) and down $0.78 per cwt (choice) with moderate movement of 91 
total loads reported (46 loads of choice cuts, 16 loads of select cuts, 7 loads 
of trimmings, 22 loads of ground beef).


   Sharp triple-digit gains have redeveloped through the feeder cattle futures 
market late Thursday morning with traders focusing on potential additional 
buyer support coming from the weakness in grain prices. But even though strong 
market support seen through morning trade is being looked at with a healthy 
dose of skepticism as traders are very aware of just how quickly any support 
can quickly evaporate. The ability to hold these gains into closing bell would 
go a long way in helping to rebuild market confidence, but this support will 
likely need to be seen Friday. 


   Moderate pressure is holding through the lean hog futures complex with early 
mixed trade giving way to traders trying to square positions before the 
weekend. Even though it is only Thursday, the expected light trade through the 
rest of the week could spark some additional market shifts yet Thursday. Cash 
prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted 
average price fell $1.08 per cwt to $69.85 per cwt with the range from $63.00 
to $69.25 per cwt on 5,607 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the 
Iowa Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell 
$1.17 per cwt to $70.43 per cwt with the range from $63.00 to $69.25 per cwt on 
2,822 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report reported 214 loads 
selling with prices falling $0.04 per cwt. Lean hog index for 9/1 is at $76.88 
down 0.35, with a projected two-day index of $76.39, down 0.49. 

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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