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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          09/22 11:32

   Cattle Head Higher as Market Awaits Friday's Cattle on Feed Report 

   With total on-feed numbers and placements forecast to be lighter on Friday 
afternoon's Cattle on Feed report, the cattle complex is back to trading 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The cattle contracts are back to trading higher while the lean hog complex 
continues to endure stiff pressure. The cattle market is eager to see what 
Friday afternoon's Cattle on Feed report unveils as the report is projected to 
display lighter on-feed numbers and fewer placements. December corn is up 3/4 
cent per bushel and December soybean meal is down $2.70. The Dow Jones 
Industrial Average is up 25.73 points.


   After being pressured throughout all of Thursday's trade, the live cattle 
complex is back to trading mostly $1.00 higher Friday. The market is anxiously 
waiting to see what comes of this afternoon's Cattle on Feed report as there's 
a chance lighter placements could mildly support the market. Placements and 
total on-feed numbers are expected to be lighter than a year ago, which should 
naturally add support to the complex, but seeing that support carry over into 
stronger trade throughout the futures contracts remains the question. No new 
cash cattle sales have been reported following the trade that developed 
Thursday afternoon. Southern live cattle were marked at $183 and Northern 
dressed cattle were marked at $292 -- both of which are steady with last week's 
weighted averages. October live cattle are up $1.47 at $186.45, December live 
cattle are up $1.30 at $190.80 and February live cattle are up $1.07 at 

   Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $2.24 ($304.17) and select up $1.30 
($280.30) with 66 loads (42.67 loads of choice, 9.19 loads of select, 4.40 
loads of trim and 9.76 loads of ground beef).


   The feeder cattle complex also is trading higher into Friday's noon hour as 
traders feel reaffirmed in their decision to move the contracts higher as they 
watch the live cattle contracts trade mildly higher as well. September feeders 
are up $0.82 at $254.10, October feeders are up $1.20 at $258.97 and November 
feeders are up $0.62 at $263.32. This afternoon's Cattle on Feed report could 
be another feather of support for the market if placements land on the lower 
end of analysts' estimates. Either way, demand in the countryside remains 
incredibly strong, which continues to keep the market from seeing much downside.


   It's looking as though Thursday's downturn in the lean hog market wasn't 
just because of the outside economical pressures the market was facing, but 
also because traders felt as though the market's recent run was overdone. The 
complex is trading anywhere from $1.00 to $2.00 lower with the nearby contracts 
enduring the most pressure. October lean hogs are down $0.70 at $82.25, 
December lean hogs are down $2.02 at $72.45 and February lean hogs are down 
$2.05 at $75.70. At this point it's likely the market will close with this grim 
tone and look to next week's complex to either add support or find a bottom for 
the move.

   The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 9/21/2023 is down $0.09 at $87.08, and 
the actual index for 9/20/2023 is up $0.50 at $87.17. Hog prices on the Daily 
Direct Morning Hog Report average $77.95, ranging from $73.00 to $80.00 on 
2,360 head and a five-day rolling average of $78.24. Pork cutouts total 196.35 
loads with 178.86 loads of pork cuts and 17.49 loads of trim. Pork cutout 
values: down $0.29, $98.46.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached

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