Monday, February 8, 2016  
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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          02/08 12:07

   Cattle Futures Limit Lower Monday             

   Limit Losses Hold Cattle futures under pressure as traders focus on further 
weakness develops through the complex. A close at current levels will create 
expanded trading limits in both feeder cattle and live cattle trade Tuesday, 
allowing the potential for even more market volatility as the week continues.  

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst


   Limit losses are holding through cattle trade late Monday morning. The focus 
through the complex continues to be driven by lack of support seen in outside 
markets combined by concern from pressure late last week. Lean hog futures are 
mixed in moderate ranges as traders have shied away from cattle shifts. Corn 
prices are lower. March corn futures are 2 cents lower. Stock markets are lower 
in active trade. The Dow Jones is 308 points lower while Nasdaq is down 99 


   Live cattle futures are locked limit lower in all 2016 contract months with 
February and April 2017 contracts currently still just under the trading limit, 
but flirting with the daily limit. The lack of support through the complex is 
not surprising given the lack of buyer support seen late last week and market 
volatility over the last couple of months; the traders remain focused on the 
ability to shift price levels within the wide trading range over the last 
couple of months without significantly breaking through limits. Lack of 
fundamental direction in the market continues to allow for technical gyrations 
in this wide range, and further distancing price shifts in futures trade from 
moves in the cash market. Cash cattle markets are undeveloped with bids and 
asking prices still unavailable and likely to remain that way through the first 
half of the week. Showlists are mixed with offerings higher in all areas except 
for Nebraska. The lack of activity last week should keep packers short bought, 
but packers are well accustomed of being in this position which all but 
guarantees early week business. Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $0.73 higher 
(select) and down $0.89 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 66 total loads 
reported (42 loads of choice cuts, 9 loads of select cuts, no loads of 
trimmings, 16 loads of ground beef).


   The aggressive triple-digit losses which started to develop Friday, have 
quickly stepped back into the market Monday morning with the feeder cattle 
futures trading at or near limit losses through the morning. March through May 
futures are locked limit lower with $4.50 per cwt losses while the rest of the 
complex is flirting with these levels at midday. A close limit lower would 
allow for expanded trading limits Tuesday, causing the potential for further 
pressure as prices could move $6.75 per cwt during the session. 


   The aggressive pressure in cattle markets and outside markets have allowed 
for additional softness to develop in deferred lean hog futures through late 
morning. Although the overall tone of the hog complex has remained surprisingly 
resilient through early week trade with Monday activity with February futures 
posting a 32 cent per cwt rally. Other spring and summer contracts are holding 
30 to 50 cent losses, but compared to the rest of the livestock market, this 
softness is considered to be insignificant at this point. Traders continue to 
focus on potential support for cash market activity later in the month, which 
could help to spark additional market support. Cash prices are lower on the 
National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.07 
per cwt to $61.39 per cwt with the range from $58.00 to $63.50 per cwt on 4,731 
head reported sold. Cash prices are higher on the Iowa Minnesota Direct morning 
cash hog report. The weighted average price gained $0.68 per cwt to $63.08 per 
cwt with the range from $58.00 to $63.50 per cwt on 2,023 head reported sold. 
The National Pork Plant Report reported 180 loads selling with prices down 
$0.47 per cwt. Lean hog index for 2/4 is at $64.30 up 0.32, with a projected 
two-day index of $64.62, up 0.32. 

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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