DTN Midday Livestock Comments 02/21 11:58
Feeder Cattle Futures have Sparked Additional Buyer Support
Aggressive buyer activity has quickly developed through live cattle and
feeder cattle markets with commercial traders building on support seen late
last week. This may bring additional market support back to the complex through
the rest of the week.
By Rick Kment
Cattle futures are leading the entire livestock market higher with
triple-digit gains seen in both live cattle and feeder cattle markets. The lack
of fundamental support at this point is not creating any major market shift,
but could limit additional buyer support late in the day. Lean hog futures are
mixed in light trade with very little movement developing in any area of the
complex. Corn prices are steady to higher in light trade. March corn futures
are 1/2 cent higher. Stock markets are higher in light trade. The Dow Jones is
94 points higher while Nasdaq is up 15 points.
Live cattle futures are holding moderate to strong gains Tuesday morning as
traders returned to the market with slightly bullish expectations developing as
they build on the support seen through the end of last week. With lackluster
activity seen in beef values and cash markets undeveloped, most of the support
is now based on the potential for commercial traders to continue to point
toward technical support developing through the morning. Front-month February
contracts are leading the market higher with a $1.35 per cwt rally, pushing
prices over $119 per cwt once again. Cash cattle quickly developed through the
morning with prices generally steady with last week price levels. The lion's
share of trade is expected to be done for the week, with prices already
established even on expected clean up trade that may develop. Prices in the
South are $119 to $120 per cwt with most late trade seen at $120 per cwt.
Dressed trade in the North is seen at $190 per cwt. It is still uncertain just
how many cattle traded through the morning Friday, but the ability to draw
trade early in the session and not drag it out through the rest of the day is
impressive. Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $0.06 higher (select) and up
$0.81 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 66 total loads reported (30 loads
of choice cuts, 14 loads of select cuts, 14 loads of trimmings, 9 loads of
Triple-digit gains across the feeder cattle futures complex is leading the
entire cattle complex higher through the morning. With no additional support
developing through the entire cash cattle markets and little sense of direction
seen from beef values, the potential to draw buyers back into the feeder cattle
trade is helping to spark some additional longer-term market support through
the nearby and deferred contracts. The potential for tighter supplies to be
seen through the spring and summer months is allowing many traders to bounce
off of short term support levels early in the week.
Despite the initial surge in lean hog futures prices at opening bell, the
overall tone of the market has settled into a narrow but mixed trading range
with no incentive for traders to move one direction or the other at this point.
Prices are hovering between 10 cents lower and 25 cents per cwt higher as
traders remain uncertain as to the short-term direction in cash values even
though underlying support remains firm at this point. Cash prices are lower on
the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell
$1.95 at $72.00 per cwt with the range from $68.00 to $74.00 on 3,249 head
reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa Minnesota Direct morning cash
hog report. The weighted average price fell $1.26 at $72.95 per cwt with the
range from $68.00 to $74.00 on 358 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant
Report reported 209 loads selling with prices up $0.57 per cwt. Lean hog index
for 2/17 is at $77.07 up $0.41 with a projected two-day index of $77.24 up
Rick Kment can be reached at email@example.com
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