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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          08/14 12:14

   Northern Cattle Starting to Move and for Higher Prices

   The livestock complex has had a busy week as live cattle contracts shot 
higher, and the lean hog complex is even rallying into the weekend. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst

   General Comments

   The board has kept with its pace, pushing live cattle and lean hog contracts 
higher while the feeder cattle market retracts slightly. It's looking like 
Friday may be uneventful day, keeping with Thursday's pace and not rocking the 
market in any irregular fashion. December corn is down 1/4 cent per bushel, and 
December soybean meal is down $0.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 
45.50 points, and the NASDAQ is down 24.85 points.


   Live cattle contracts keep heading higher into Friday's afternoon hours, 
looking to close the week with substantial gains on the board and throughout 
the cash cattle market. August live cattle are up $0.77 at $107.82, October 
live cattle are up $0.37 at $110.52 and December live cattle are up $0.20 at 
$113.02. The countryside was painfully quiet until the top of the noon hour 
when cattle sold in Nebraska for $168 dressed ($5.00 higher than last week's 
average), and live cattle sold for $106 ($3.00 higher than last week's 
average). It was going to be nerve-racking if cattle in the North didn't trade, 
as last week's movement was relatively small for the region. Thankfully, 
feeders were able to push the market substantially higher by simply buying some 
time. Unless some cattle sell in Iowa and more cattle in Nebraska, it's looking 
like the week's business is essentially done.

   Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $3.09 ($214.04) and select up $1.83 
($199.24) with a movement of 87 loads (51.76 loads of choice, 14.07 loads of 
select, 11.38 loads of trim and 9.76 loads of ground beef).


   Feeder cattle contracts are casually backpedaling as the board continues to 
regress. August feeders are down $0.12 at $144.82, September feeders are down 
$0.07 at $147.30 and October feeders are down $0.37 at $148.12. Countryside 
prices urged the board to trade higher as feeder cattle sales continue to be 
well tested and met with excellent demand. But the fundamental pressure of 
moving the complex even higher seems like too much for traders to bite off 
right now.


   The lean hog complex likes the day's momentum following Thursday's modestly 
higher close and continues to push the market higher. October lean hogs are up 
$1.07 at $53.42, December lean hogs are up $0.30 at $54.65 and February lean 
hogs are up $0.52 at $62.00. With pork cutout values ever so cautiously adding 
value here and there, producers are encouraged because, if packers can move 
more product, cash prices could see a small increase through Labor Day.

   The projected lean hog index for 8/12/2020 is down $0.34 at $53.48, and the 
actual index for 8/11/2020 is up $0.03 at $53.82. Hog prices are lower on the 
National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.05 with a weighted average of 
$37.46, ranging from $35.00 to $38.00 on 4,028 head and a five-day rolling 
average of $37.83. Pork cutouts total 237.60 loads with 180.16 loads of pork 
cuts and 57.44 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $1.85, $75.61.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached

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