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DTN Midday Livestock Comments 01/26 11:49


DTN Midday Livestock Comments 01/26 11:49

Cattle Contracts Find Technical Support

After trading lower throughout the earlier part of the week, cattle futures
have finally found some technical support to help rally the contracts in
Wednesday's trade.

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


Cattle futures are finally seeing some support from traders after a tough
start to the week. Meanwhile, after an exhilarating day of trade , Tuesday, the
lean hog complex is chopping sideways. March corn is up 3/4 cent per bushel and
March soybean meal is up $7.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 363.84
points and NASDAQ is up 329.68 points.


Boxed beef prices are pulling back for the second day in a row, which points
to the conclusion that boxes are topping. As packers take note of the boxed
beef market, they've also cut into the cash market and been able to buy cattle
in Kansas for $136, which is $1.00 lower than Tuesday's trade and $1.00 lower
than last week's average. Throughout the week Southern live cattle have traded
at mostly $137 and Northern dressed trade has taken place at $218. While it's
frustrating to see the lower trend in the cash market, hopefully the support
that's building in Wednesday's futures complex keeps the market from dipping
much lower. February live cattle are up $0.90 at $138.00, April live cattle are
up $1.70 at $141.80 and June live cattle are up $1.47 at $136.90. It's likely
boxes will indeed close lower by the afternoon, which will be important to
monitor. But equally as important is noting how the day's slaughter performs.
The pullback in boxes is normal for this time of year.

The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction listed a total of 2,904 head (Texas 1,438
head, Kansas 987 head, Iowa 203 head, Nebraska 120 head, Oklahoma 121 head,
California 35 head), all of which went unsold, as they did not meet the reserve
prices, which ranged from $130 to $138.50. Opening prices ranged from $125 to
$136.50, high bids ranged from $130 to $138.50. Another auction is scheduled
for Thursday.

Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $0.88 ($291.50) and select down
$1.23 ($282.09) with a movement of 73 loads (44.99 loads of choice, 8.59 loads
of select, 5.03 loads of trim and 14.35 loads of ground beef).


After dropping below the 100-day moving average in the March contract, the
feeder cattle contract seems to be finding support. Even though the corn market
is posting a mild rally, the entire feeder cattle complex is trading higher.
March feeders are up $1.05 at $160.90, April feeders are up $0.80 at $166.00
and May feeders are up $0.62 at $169.82. It's helping that the live cattle
market is also trading confidently into Wednesday afternoon. And even though
the cash cattle market is only trading steady with last week, it does come as a
sigh of relief to see processing speeds inching higher to 118,000 head.


After an exciting rally earlier in the week, the lean hog complex is
chopping sideways through Wednesday's trade. February lean hogs are down $0.45
at $87.00, April lean hogs are down $0.92 at $96.30 and June lean hogs are down
$0.15 at $106.42. After an exhilarating day of stronger trade and then hearing
the news that Prop 12 rules won't be enforced until six months after the rules
are finalized, the lean hog market seems to be coasting through Wednesday and
catching its breath.

The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 1/25/2022 is up $0.75 at $79.20 and the
actual index for 1/24/2022 is up $0.13 at $78.45. Hog prices are higher on the
National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $1.56 with a weighted average of $62.81,
ranging from $61.00 to $77.00 on 2,765 head and a five-day rolling average of
$61.48. Pork cutouts total 177.85 loads with 164.18 loads of pork cuts and
13.67 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $3.42, $95.88.

ShayLe Stewart can be reached at

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