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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          08/18 11:41

   Livestock Contracts Run Into Headwind Come Thursday

   Southern feedlots have begun to trade cattle for $142, which is $2.00 higher 
than last week, but the North has yet to trade cattle.

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The livestock contracts are all trading lower into Thursday's afternoon as 
the market can't seem to entice traders to do much of anything. One positive 
point is that the cash cattle market is finally seeing some trade develop in 
the South for $2.00 higher than last week, but the North has still yet to trade 
cattle. December corn is down 1/2 cent per bushel and December soybean meal is 
up $6.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 84.91 points.


   It has been a long, long time (years) since cattle have waited to trade 
until Thursday and just now, as the noon hour approaches, a few sales are being 
reported. Some light trade has been noted in the South at $142, which is $2.00 
higher than last week's weighted average. Bids are continuing to be offered at 
$234, but at this point, feedlots are still reluctant to accept those prices. 
More cattle will need to trade this week, but unless packers get more 
aggressive in their price offerings, it could be a week of thin movement. The 
live cattle contracts are trading lower into Thursday's afternoon as traders 
have pulled back ever so slightly. August live cattle are down $0.07 at 
$141.67, October live cattle are down $0.55 at $145.30 and December live cattle 
are down $0.45 at $151.05. It's positive that boxed beef prices are still 
trading strong, and that demand isn't seeming to waver.

   Beef net sales of 18,900 mt for 2022 were up 29% from the previous week and 
unchanged from the prior four-week average. The three primary buyers were China 
(7,400 mt), Japan (5,300 mt) and South Korea (1,900 mt).

   Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $0.27 ($265.61) and select up $1.36 
($239.25) with a movement of 58 loads (32.66 loads of choice, 18.86 loads of 
select, zero loads of trim and 6.40 loads of ground beef).


   With the rest of the livestock complex trading gingerly, and the corn market 
pushing a minor steady to $0.01 rally, the feeder cattle contracts have a 
lackluster attitude heading into Thursday afternoon. The market hasn't seen any 
lack of fundamental support from sales this week in the countryside as demand 
continues to bring buyers to town, but the aggressive rally that Wednesday 
pushed has Thursday's market on its heels. August feeders are down $1.80 at 
$181.45, September feeders are down $1.75 at $185.37 and October feeders are 
down $1.75 at $187.80.


   With a lousy export report, and pork cutout values closing Wednesday's 
market $2.68 lower, the lean hog complex is running into Thursday's afternoon 
substantially lower. October lean hogs are down $3.87 at $94.20, December lean 
hogs are down $2.47 at $85.95 and February lean hogs are down $1.80 at $89.30. 
At this point, it's seeming like traders are more interested in working the 
complex lower after running it to contract highs just last week. It's unlikely 
that the market sees much support arise before Thursday's end, as the cash 
market will likely close lower and pork cutout values are likely to see 
pressure as well.

   Pork net sales of 13,600 mt for 2022 were down 37% from the previous week 
and 43% from the prior four-week average. The three primary buyers were Mexico 
(7,100 mt), Japan (2,600 mt) and South Korea (900 mt).

   The projected lean hog index for Aug. 17 is down $0.02 at $120.60 and the 
actual index for Aug. 16 is down $0.44 at $120.62. Hog prices are lower on the 
Daily Direct Morning Hog Report, down $9.75 with a weighted average of $119.12, 
ranging from $115.50 to $132.00 on 4,078 head and a five-day rolling average of 
$123.51. Pork cutouts total 121.68 loads with 105.14 loads of pork cuts and 
16.55 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $0.05, $118.52.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached

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