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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          02/28 11:31

   Cattle Futures See Mild Technical Pressure 

   The cash cattle market hasn't seen any bids develop and it's likely trade 
will be delayed until Thursday. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The livestock complex is a mixed playing field for the futures as the cattle 
contracts are enduring some pressure, but the lean hog market is continuing to 
trade higher. No cash cattle trade has developed yet and it's likely trade will 
be delayed until Thursday. May corn is up 4 3/4 cents per bushel and May 
soybean meal is up $5.10. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 65.28 points.


   The live cattle complex is trading lower as traders are seeming to hit the 
pause button on the market's technical ambitions. April live cattle are down 
$1.05 at $186.67, June live cattle are down $1.15 at $182.42 and August live 
cattle are down $1.30 at $181.37. It is positive, however, that midday boxed 
beef prices are stronger and, as long as the afternoon prices round out the day 
higher as well, Thursday's market could see slightly more interest and support. 
The cash cattle market hasn't seen any interest develop as packers know 
feedlots will again be after more money this week. This week's cash cattle 
market will again be a battle of wills between packers and feedlots. No bids 
are currently offered and it's likely trade will be delayed until Thursday. 
Southern asking prices are noted at $185 to $186 and continue unestablished in 
the North.

   Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $0.67 ($302.41) and select up $2.50 
($292.90) with a movement of 82 loads (47.34 loads of choice, 11.88 loads of 
select, 14.06 loads of trim and 8.83 loads of ground beef).


   It's a tough technical day for the feeder cattle futures as the market is 
trading $1.00 to $2.00 lower. The market's weakness mostly stems from traders' 
hesitancy as the live cattle complex isn't trading higher either and 
countryside demand remains plentiful. March feeders are down $2.37 at $250.62, 
April feeders are down $2.75 at $256.20 and May feeders are down $2.60 at 
$258.72. At this point, without any cash cattle trade having developed, it's 
likely the market keeps this lower tone through the afternoon and closing.


   After closing lower Tuesday afternoon, lean hog futures are back to trading 
higher. Midday pork cutout values are lower, but we know better than to put 
much clout in midday pork cutout values; what really matters is the afternoon 
carcass price. The market is hoping to see another strong export sales report 
Thursday and if traders do indeed see substantial export interest, the market's 
higher trend could continue. Cash prices are sharply higher, but only on mere 
581 head. April lean hogs are up $0.92 at $86.80, June lean hogs are up $0.80 
at $100.12 and July lean hogs are up $0.87 at $101.30.  

   The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 2/27/2024 is up $0.13 at $79.91, and 
the actual index for 2/26/2024 is up $0.32 at $79.78. Hog prices are higher on 
the Daily Direct Afternoon Hog Report, up $3.40 with a weighted average price 
of $74.10, ranging from $71.00 to $75.00 on 581 head and a five-day rolling 
average of $72.34. Pork cutouts total 184.66 loads with 152.64 loads of pork 
cuts and 32.03 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are down $1.28, $90.59.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached at [email protected].

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