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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          02/21 12:09

   Trade Tips Lower 

   Livestock contracts head into the noon hour fully lower. 

By ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst

General Comments

   It's appearing that the week will close lower as all three livestock 
contracts trade lower into the noon hour with no indication of support 
developing in the near future. March corn is down 2 cents per bushel and March 
soybean meal is down $2.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 198.95 
points and NASDAQ is down 123.49 points.


   We understand that the market is in favor of packer's position right now, 
but feeders are having a hard time winning anywhere with a weaker board and 
cash prices that did prosper like they were assumed to. April live cattle are 
down $1.90 at $117.25, June live cattle are down $1.60 at $109.32 and August 
live cattle are down $1.00 at $108.85. Cash cattle trade seems to be all but 
wrapped up for the week as very few bids sit on the table for cattle still. 
Prices in the South moved to $120 this week, which is $1.00 higher than last 
week's weighted average. And prices in the North sold mostly at $190 which is 
steady to $1.00 higher than last week's weighted average. 

   Thursday's Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection shared that, for the 
week ending February 8, 2020, steer carcass weights were reported at 903 pounds 
-- six pounds heavier than the previous week and 18 pounds heavier than a year 
ago. Heifer carcasses came in at 834 pounds -- one pound heavier than a week 
ago and 12 pounds over a year ago. The nice weather has been a blessing to 
cow-calf producers who are in the heart of calving season, but when it comes to 
fat cattle and how they are feeding - increases of 12 to 18 pounds is a lot per 
animal. Thankfully the market is current and packers are having to be somewhat 
active in the marketplace, but while cattle are feeding this well, its going to 
be important to stay attune to packer's supply and understand where the market 
sits on current availability. 

   Boxed beef cutout prices are higher: choice up $0.25 ($204.75) and select 
steady ($201.60) with a movement of 63 loads (29.76 loads of choice, 9.65 loads 
of select, 16.72 loads of trim and 6.47 loads of ground beef). 


   Considering the weaker live cattle market and the unenthusiastic cash cattle 
market, the feeder cattle market is holding better than expected in the midst 
of a downward fall. Nearby contracts are handling losses somewhat better than 
deferred but not by much. March feeders are down $1.02 at $139.77, April 
feeders are down $0.92 at $141.60 and May feeders are down $1.32 at $142.25. 


   Though the lean hog complex is trading lower it's taking the day much better 
than the cattle contracts are as its losses range from $0.12 to $0.57. April 
lean hogs are down $0.12 at $66.72, May lean hogs are down $0.57 at $73.90 ad 
June lean hogs are down $0.15 at $81.80. Helping support the market some is the 
positivity in Friday morning's cash trade and knowing in the back of everyone's 
mind that China is going to need protein for a long time until their market is 
stable again. 

   The projected lean hog index for 2/20/2020 is up $0.09 at $55.87 and the 
actual for 2/19/2020 is up $0.24 at $55.78. Hog prices are higher on the 
National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.34 with a weighted average of $50.12, 
ranging from $45.00 to $53.00 on 4,447 head sold and five-day rolling average 
of $49.90. Pork cutouts total 150.30 loads with 139.78 loads of pork cuts and 
10.52 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $0.32, $64.12. 

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached 


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