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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          12/05 12:11

   Cattle Contracts Are On Rise, While Lean Hogs Slip Lower

   Cattle contracts shake the early part of the week's blue, and depressed 
attitude, while lean hog contracts take the back burner. 

By ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst

General Comments

   Thursday's market is shaking things up and kicking the early part of the 
week's trend to the curb by supporting cattle market and unfortunately 
neglecting to encourage the lean hog market. March corn is up 1/4 cent per 
bushel and January soybean meal is up $6.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average 
is down 45.25 points and NASDAQ is down 7.85 points. 


   Just in the brink of time, for cash cattle trade to start to think about 
trading, cattle contracts trade higher. December live cattle are up $0.92 at 
$120.40, February live cattle are up $1.05 at $125.20 and April live cattle are 
up $0.62 at $125.62. Bids are starting to float throughout cattle country 
without a lot of certainty to where prices will land. The facts remain that 
packers need cattle, and now time and how the board performs over the next two 
days will largely influence if prices are steady or $1.00 to $2.00 higher. Bids 
in Nebraska are at $118 for live cattle, and $186 for dressed, and bids in 
Kansas and Texas are placed at $119. Feeders knowing that packers are willing 
already to pay steady money will most likely give cattlemen the urge to hold 
out for a little higher and trade mostly Friday. 

   Morning boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $1.11 ($225.84) and select 
down $1.32 ($208.99) with a movement of 73 loads (41.67 loads of choice, 8.74 
loads of select, 4.89 loads of trim and 17.54 loads of ground beef). 


   Feeder cattle markets are reciprocating some of the energy from live cattle 
contract, trading modestly higher into the noon hour. January feeders are up 
$0.42 at $141.30, March feeders are up $0.42 at $141.85 and April feeder are up 
$0.45 at $143.85. It wouldn't be unlikely to see feeder cattle markets struggle 
until the calendar year flips to 2020, or even until the heart of winter is 
over as feedlots and cattlemen alike are already anxious about a winter like 


   The board may have taken a turn South Thursday morning, but cash prices are 
still rising and pork cutout values are up. December lean hogs are down $0.20 
at $61.65, February lean hogs are down $0.27 at $68.15 and April lean hogs are 
down $0.62 at $74.12. Stepping back as most of the market's attention lies on 
the cattle complex and how cash cattle will trade, it's not horrible after two 
days of gaining momentum if the market trades merely steady. 

   The projected lean hog index 12/04/19 is up $0.14 at $58.34, and the actual 
lean hog index for 12/03/19 came back $0.82 higher at $58.20. Hog prices are 
higher again on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.75 with a 
weighted average of $46.43, ranging from $41.00 to $47.50 on 7,140 head sold 
with a five-day rolling average of $44.57. Pork cutouts totaled 149.89 loads 
with 129.55 loads of pork cuts and 20.34 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are 
up $2.32 at $83.32. 

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached 


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