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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          12/13 12:07

   Phase One Agreement Bolsters Livestock Contracts 

   Though the phase one trade agreement has not yet been signed, knowing that 
its completion is close spurs the livestock sector. 

By ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst

General Comments

   Friday's market has been completely consumed by the exciting news that the 
phase one agreement is nearing the final stretch. Though the details have not 
yet been finalized, it's apparent that the agreement is coming together and 
that the U.S has agreed to not implement the Dec. 15 tariffs. An announcement 
of that kind would leave U.S. producers to believe that China has an agreement 
to buy more agriculture products. Nevertheless, markets are spiking higher and 
are anxious for the agreement to be signed. March corn is steady and January 
soybean meal is up $1.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.43 points 
and NASDAQ is up 18.60 points. 


   Onward and forward, the live cattle market is ready and roaring for 2020. 
Bullish news encompasses the live cattle market Friday morning as cash cattle 
in the South have traded mostly steady, cattle in the North that have yet to 
trade are expected to be higher, boxed beef prices sold phenomenally and gained 
in value, all while securing lavish gains on the board. December live cattle 
are up $1.97 at $122.40, February live cattle are up $2.42 at $127.52 and April 
live cattle contracts are up $1.90 at $128.10. Trade is starting to roll out 
throughout the countryside, as a large string of fats sold in Iowa for $120 
with delivery for the week of 12/30/19. Light transactions took place in the 
North for steady money, $119 live and $118 dressed; Thursday a light trade took 
place in the South for $119. 

   Boxed beef values are higher: choice up $1.39 ($217.04) and select up $1.70 
($204.26) with a movement of 58 loads (25.40 loads of choice, 10.12 loads of 
select, no loads of trim and 22.22 loads of ground beef). 


   At almost limit highs in the spot market, feeder cattle contracts aren't 
getting left in the dust with this kind of market excitement. January feeders 
are up $3.80 at $146.35, March feeders are up $3.05 at $146.50 and April 
feeders are up $2.65 at $148.27. Seeing that the market is trading steadily 
higher in all three sectors and throughout all contracts in the feeder cattle 
market, a strong close isn't out of sight. 


   Finally, the export opportunity that the lean hog market has so patiently 
been waiting for. There's no arguing that the agreement being on the brink of 
being signed is good news, but hog producers want to know how much pork China 
going to buy. In the producer's eyes the bigger, the better, and the sooner 
they will start taking shipments, the better. It comes as no surprise that hog 
producers are waiting anxiously to find out the fine details of the 

   The projected lean hog index for 12/12/19 is up $0.16 at $59.88, and the 
actual index for 12/11/19 came in at $59.72, up $0.26. Hog prices on the 
National Direct Morning Hog report are $0.37 higher with a weighted average of 
$48.18, ranging from $42.00 to $50.00 on 15,112 head sold and a five-day 
rolling average of $47.80. Pork cutouts totaled 199.28 loads with 168.64 loads 
of pork cuts and 30.64 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are up $2.37 at 

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached 


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