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DTN Midday Livestock Comments 11/30 12:21

30 Nov 2023
DTN Midday Livestock Comments 11/30 12:21 Cattle Market Pressure Develops Following a two-day run of higher prices in cattle futures, buyer support seems to be in short supply as live and feeder cattle futures are holding triple-digit losses. The overall lack of support at the end of November could create some additional market pressure. Rick Kment DTN Analyst GENERAL COMMENTS: Cattle futures have turned lower once again. November has been a very volatile market month, with spot live cattle futures trading within a $16 per cwt range, while spot feeder cattle futures moved within a $30 per cwt price range. This market volatility has led to additional market shifts and growing uncertainty about the ability to sustain recent gains. Also uncertain is just how much additional support can be expected through the end of the year. Lean hog futures are holding light to moderate gains in most contracts, as traders look for some end-of-month support from cash values and pork prices. But the overall movement in the complex may remain generally limited at the end of the month. March corn is up 7 1/4 at $4.83 and January soybean meal is down $2.70 at $424.3. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 246.37 at 35,676.79. LIVE CATTLE: Live cattle contracts have retracted a portion of the gains from the last two trading sessions with end-of-month losses developing Thursday morning. Although volume remains generally light, the lack of follow-through buyer support in the entire complex is very disappointing. Although prices have bounced back from month-long lows set early in the week, the significant price decline in the month of November cannot be easily overlooked. Spot contracts have posted a $13-per-cwt loss since the first of November, creating uncertainty as to whether late-calendar buyer support will develop before the end of the year. Cash cattle trade continues to trickle into the market, but this movement also brings market disappointment with the North posting sales at $275 per cwt Thursday morning. Although these prices are steady with midweek trade, current trade is $4 per cwt lower than last week's weighed average in the north, and generally $2 per cwt lower in the South. It is expected some trade will need to develop in the coming days, but the tone of the market may have been set already. The fact that cash markets have seen no support from this week's upward market movement is discouraging at best. December live cattle are $1.43 lower at $170.475, February live cattle are $2.00 lower at $171.475, April live cattle are $2.13 lower at $173.80. Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $0.92 ($297.95) and select up $3.20 ($267.29) with a movement of 69.05 loads (49.11 loads of choice, 12.34 loads of select, zero loads of trim and 7.60 loads of ground beef). FEEDER CATTLE: Feeder cattle futures are once again leading the cattle complex lower Thursday morning as traders are backing away from gains seen over the past two days. End-of-month position adjustments seem to be the main order of business for most traders Thursday as they try to square positions and close out holdings. The month of November has been bearish for feeder cattle contracts with spot January futures falling over $30 per cwt during the month, currently trading nearly $20 per cwt lower for the month. Although prices have moved firmly above multi-month lows in the past two trading sessions, the fact is prices are still nearly $50 per cwt below September and seasonal highs. Concerns of additional placements through the end of the year and 2024 beef demand growth continue to curb any long-term buyer support that tries to step into the market. January feeders are $2.83 lower at $219.375, March feeders are $2.63 lower at $221.65 and April feeders are $2.58 lower at $225.75. LEAN HOGS: Lean hog futures are the bright spot of the livestock complex Thursday with light to moderate gains in most contracts. Even though buyer support remains extremely limited, compared to active triple-digit losses in cattle futures, this market seems much more stable for the moment. Traders remain concerned about the inability to consistently drive additional support into cash hog values or wholesale pork prices. But for now, it appears traders will stick with the current market direction through the end of November. December lean hogs are $0.03 higher at $69., February lean hogs are $1.38 higher at $71.475 and April lean hogs are $0.85 higher at $77.325. Hog prices are lower on the Daily Direct Morning Hog report, down $1.68 with a weighted average of $59.76, ranging from $51.00 to $62.00 on 1,361 head with a five-day rolling average of $60.21. Pork cutouts totaled 171.67 loads with 149.79 loads of pork cuts and 21.88 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are down $0.01 at $84.28. Rick Kment can be reached at ** Register now for DTN's Virtual Ag Summit on Dec. 5 and 6, a virtual event that offers discussions of farmland values, tax advice, the latest technological advances, and the challenges of having a family business. On Wednesday, Ag Meteorologist John Baranick will give an early glimpse of what to expect from the weather in 2024 and I'll give you my best assessment of where I think corn and soybean prices are headed in the year ahead. Register for this free event at Can't make it those two days? A recorded link will be provided, but you need to register. (c) Copyright 2023 DTN, LLC. All rights reserved.