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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          09/25 11:39

   Cattle Remain Skeptical

   The livestock complex is again trading mixed as traders remain leery of 
overly supporting the cattle contracts.

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   Traders are continuing to keep an arm's distance from the cattle complex as 
Monday's noon hour rolls around despite receiving last Friday's supportive 
Cattle on Feed report. Meanwhile, the lean hog complex is trading higher as the 
contracts are now free from resistance pressure and midday pork cutout values 
are higher. December corn is up 3/4 cent per bushel and December soybean meal 
is up $1.50. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 19.28 points.


   The live cattle complex is electing to keep its cautious but supportive 
stance as the market is trading merely sideways into Monday's noon hour. 
October live cattle are down $0.25 at $186.82, December live cattle are down 
$0.12 at $191.22, and February live cattle are up $0.30 at $195.85. Last 
Friday's Cattle on Feed Report should be viewed as a supportive finding that 
the cattle market can add to its already strong fundamental foothold. With 
fewer cattle on feed than a year ago, and fewer placements added in August, 
tight supplies amid strong demand should bode well for the market moving 

   Last week's trade started to develop Wednesday afternoon and trickled in 
here and there through Friday. Northern dressed cattle traded for $285 to $293, 
but mostly at $292 which is steady with the previous week's weighted average. 
Southern live cattle traded for $182 to $186, but mostly at $183 which is also 
steady with the previous week's weighted average. Last week's negotiated cash 
cattle trade totaled 87,245 head. Of that 77% (67,449 head) were committed to 
the nearby delivery, while the remaining 23% (19,796 head) were committed to 
the deferred delivery.

   Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $1.93 ($301.40) and select up $1.19 
($281.62) with a movement of 36 loads (22.47 loads of choice, 12.03 loads of 
select, zero loads of trim and 1.85 loads of ground beef).


   The feeder cattle complex is trading mostly lower into Monday's noon hour as 
the market longs to attract the interest of traders. One would have thought 
that Friday's Cattle on Feed report would have been enough encouraging news to 
entice some traders into turning the contracts higher Monday morning, but 
without the support of a higher trade live cattle market, traders remain 
reserved at this point. September feeders are down $0.65 at $253.45, October 
feeders are down $1.00 at $258.15 and November feeders are down $0.97 at 


   After rounding out last week's market starkly lower, the lean hog complex is 
back to trading mildly higher. With the complex now away from resistance 
pressure, traders are again free to support the contracts if they find enough 
fundamental support in the market -- and thankfully with midday pork cutout 
values up nearly $3.00, that support is there. On Thursday the market will see 
another Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report released with could also lend support to 
traders, and clarify the market's trajectory, nonetheless. October lean hogs 
are up $0.07 at $81.60, December lean hogs are up $0.42 at $72.60, and February 
lean hogs are up $0.85 at $76.20.

   The projected lean hog index for 9/22/2023 is down $0.38 at $86.70, and the 
actual index for 9/21/2023 is down $0.09 at $87.08. Hog prices are lower on the 
Daily Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.01 with a weighted average price of 
$77.94, ranging from $75.00 to $79.00 on 1,739 head and a five-day rolling 
average of $78.21. Pork cutouts total 132.55 loads with 114.64 loads of pork 
cuts and 17.61 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $2.96, $100.22.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached

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