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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          05/23 11:47

   Light Southern Trade Beginning to Develop for $1 Higher Thursday

   Some light Southern trade is beginning to develop for $187, which is $1.00 
higher than last week's weighted average. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   With some light trade beginning to develop in the South for $1.00 higher 
than last week's weighted average, both the live cattle and feeder cattle 
contracts are continuing to trend higher. Meanwhile, not even better export 
news can help turn the lean hog complex higher as its market is frustrated by a 
lack of domestic demand. July corn is up 3 3/4 cents per bushel and July 
soybean meal is down $0.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 245.21 

   Thursday's export report shared that beef net sales of 21,500 metric tons 
(mt) for 2024 were up 42% from the previous week and 32% from the prior 
four-week average. The three largest buyers were China (5,800 mt), South Korea 
(5,100 mt) and Mexico 2,900 mt). Pork net sales of 26,300 mt for 2024 were up 
24% from the previous week but down 3% from the prior four-week average. The 
three largest buyers were Mexico (10,300 mt), Japan (4,100 mt) and South Korea 
(2,600 mt).


   Even though the choice cut is under some slight pressure, the live cattle 
complex is able to continue to trade higher as the market is encouraged by the 
light cash cattle trade that's developing in the South at $187, which is $1.00 
higher than last week's weighted average. Bids of $300 to $302 dressed are 
being offered in Nebraska, but with feedlots asking $305 in the North, that bid 
simply won't do at this point. June live cattle are up $0.27 at $184.45, August 
live cattle are up $0.32 at $182.00 and October live cattle are up $0.30 at 
$184.95. Asking prices for cattle left to trade in the South remain firm at 
$188 to $190, and more trade will need to develop before the week's end.

   Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $2.50 ($309.67) and select up $1.35 
($300.96) with a movement of 60 loads (39.66 loads of choice, 7.26 loads of 
select, 6.91 loads of trim and 6.64 loads of ground beef).


   The feeder cattle complex is continuing to grind higher as the market is 
encouraged by the early developments in this week's cash cattle market. Yes, 
corn prices are trading slightly higher, but traders are finding more support 
in the early notes of cash cattle sales than they are worried about $0.03 gains 
in the corn complex. Not to mention, sales in the countryside remain extremely 
strong, which is evident by the CME Feeder Cattle Index closing at $248.44 
Wednesday afternoon. August feeders are up $0.15 at $263.05, September feeders 
are up $0.30 at $264.05 and October feeders are up $0.32 at $264.45.


   Even though export sales were slightly better for the hog complex, the 
market continues to trade lower as pork cutout values continue to drop. June 
lean hogs are down $0.52 at $94.87, July lean hogs are down $0.45 at $97.67 and 
August lean hogs are down $0.42 at $97.12. Unfortunately until the hog complex 
finds some support, the technical downward spiral will likely continue.

   The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 5/22/2024 is down $0.05 at the actual 
index for 5/21/2024 is down $0.19 at $91.82. Hog prices are unavailable on the 
Daily Direct Morning Hog Report due to confidentiality. However, we can see 
that 969 head have traded and the market's five-day rolling average now sits at 
$87.97. Pork cutouts total 151.05 loads with 130.23 loads of pork cuts and 
20.82 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $0.51, $99.56.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached at



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