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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          02/20 12:06

   Livestock Contracts Feeling Pressured 

   Livestock contracts head lower as the market feels universal pressure, which 
is putting a damper on market's short-term rally. 

By ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst

General Comments

   All three livestock markets head lower Thursday morning as cash markets are 
unestablished this week and the board is feeling some pressure as the end of 
the week arrives. March corn is down 1 1/4 cents per bushel and March soybean 
meal is up $0.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 272.25 points and 
NASDAQ is down 141.49 points. 

   LIVE CATTLE 

   Live cattle contracts came up against the $121.00 resistance plan and backed 
off sharply. February live cattle are down $0.77 at $120.52, April live cattle 
are down $1.20 at $119.60 and June live cattle are down $0.77 at $111.52. This 
comes at an bad time for feeders who are hoping the cash market will strengthen 
this week. There was some trade Wednesday in the South that helped push prices 
$1.00 higher than last week's weighted average, but since then trade has been 
sparse and the trade that has developed has been weaker. Right now, trade is 
being reported in part of Nebraska at $119 to $120, steady to $1.00 higher than 
last week's weighted average, and dressed cattle are being sold at $190, fully 
steady with last week's trade. Other parts of the country remain firm in their 
$122 live and $195 plus for dressed cattle asking prices. 

   Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $0.79 ($204.78) and select down 
$0.42 ($201.34) with a movement of 104 loads (73.77 loads of choice, 10.61 
loads of select, 5.52 loads of trim and 13.71 loads of ground beef). 

   FEEDER CATTLE 

   Feeder cattle contracts jumped on board and are trading lower along with the 
rest of the livestock complex, but are feeling more deferred pressure than 
nearby pressure, which is adverse from the live cattle market. March feeders 
are down $0.22 at $140.55, April feeders are down $0.70 at $142.35 and May 
feeders are down $0.80 at $143.57. Feeder calf prices still surge with limited 
availability in the countryside which should help strengthen the board. 

   LEAN HOGS 

   The lean hog complex walks into the noon hour feeling some pressure which is 
sending contracts somewhat lower. April lean hogs are down $1.15 at $66.42, May 
lean hogs are down $0.65 at $74.65 and June lean hogs are down $1.47 at $81.70. 
Seeing that cash prices are modestly lower Thursday morning as well, the market 
will have to work vigorously to push prices higher since both sides of the 
equation are weighing lower. 

   The projected lean hog index for 2/18/2020 is down $0.12 at $55.64, and the 
actual for 2/17/2020 is down $0.31 at $55.66. Hog prices are lower on the 
National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.37 with a weighted average of 
$49.89, ranging from $45.00 to $52.00 on 4,175 head sold and five-day weighted 
average of $49.84. Pork cutouts total 128.43 loads with 118.29 loads of pork 
cuts and 10.14 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $0.49, $64.50. 

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached shayle.stewart@dtn.com 


(CZ)

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