DTN Midday Livestock Comments 11/30 12:21
Cattle Market Pressure Develops
Following a two-day run of higher prices in cattle futures, buyer support
seems to be in short supply as live and feeder cattle futures are holding
triple-digit losses. The overall lack of support at the end of November could
create some additional market pressure.
Cattle futures have turned lower once again. November has been a very
volatile market month, with spot live cattle futures trading within a $16 per
cwt range, while spot feeder cattle futures moved within a $30 per cwt price
range. This market volatility has led to additional market shifts and growing
uncertainty about the ability to sustain recent gains. Also uncertain is just
how much additional support can be expected through the end of the year. Lean
hog futures are holding light to moderate gains in most contracts, as traders
look for some end-of-month support from cash values and pork prices. But the
overall movement in the complex may remain generally limited at the end of the
month. March corn is up 7 1/4 at $4.83 and January soybean meal is down $2.70
at $424.3. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 246.37 at 35,676.79.
Live cattle contracts have retracted a portion of the gains from the last
two trading sessions with end-of-month losses developing Thursday morning.
Although volume remains generally light, the lack of follow-through buyer
support in the entire complex is very disappointing. Although prices have
bounced back from month-long lows set early in the week, the significant price
decline in the month of November cannot be easily overlooked. Spot contracts
have posted a $13-per-cwt loss since the first of November, creating
uncertainty as to whether late-calendar buyer support will develop before the
end of the year. Cash cattle trade continues to trickle into the market, but
this movement also brings market disappointment with the North posting sales at
$275 per cwt Thursday morning. Although these prices are steady with midweek
trade, current trade is $4 per cwt lower than last week's weighed average in
the north, and generally $2 per cwt lower in the South. It is expected some
trade will need to develop in the coming days, but the tone of the market may
have been set already. The fact that cash markets have seen no support from
this week's upward market movement is discouraging at best. December live
cattle are $1.43 lower at $170.475, February live cattle are $2.00 lower at
$171.475, April live cattle are $2.13 lower at $173.80. Boxed beef prices are
higher: choice up $0.92 ($297.95) and select up $3.20 ($267.29) with a movement
of 69.05 loads (49.11 loads of choice, 12.34 loads of select, zero loads of
trim and 7.60 loads of ground beef).
Feeder cattle futures are once again leading the cattle complex lower
Thursday morning as traders are backing away from gains seen over the past two
days. End-of-month position adjustments seem to be the main order of business
for most traders Thursday as they try to square positions and close out
holdings. The month of November has been bearish for feeder cattle contracts
with spot January futures falling over $30 per cwt during the month, currently
trading nearly $20 per cwt lower for the month. Although prices have moved
firmly above multi-month lows in the past two trading sessions, the fact is
prices are still nearly $50 per cwt below September and seasonal highs.
Concerns of additional placements through the end of the year and 2024 beef
demand growth continue to curb any long-term buyer support that tries to step
into the market. January feeders are $2.83 lower at $219.375, March feeders are
$2.63 lower at $221.65 and April feeders are $2.58 lower at $225.75.
Lean hog futures are the bright spot of the livestock complex Thursday with
light to moderate gains in most contracts. Even though buyer support remains
extremely limited, compared to active triple-digit losses in cattle futures,
this market seems much more stable for the moment. Traders remain concerned
about the inability to consistently drive additional support into cash hog
values or wholesale pork prices. But for now, it appears traders will stick
with the current market direction through the end of November. December lean
hogs are $0.03 higher at $69., February lean hogs are $1.38 higher at $71.475
and April lean hogs are $0.85 higher at $77.325.
Hog prices are lower on the Daily Direct Morning Hog report, down $1.68 with
a weighted average of $59.76, ranging from $51.00 to $62.00 on 1,361 head with
a five-day rolling average of $60.21. Pork cutouts totaled 171.67 loads with
149.79 loads of pork cuts and 21.88 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are down
$0.01 at $84.28.
Rick Kment can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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