© Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography
The breeding complex struggled to find something to excite him. Futures contracts were trading in a fairly narrow range. Hogs could not be held back with futures reaching new highs. The cutouts were incredibly strong.
Cattle: Constant. Futures contracts: mixed. Live Match: $203.22 – $0.27*
Pigs: Constant. Futures contracts: mixed. Equiv Lean: $124.01 + $10.02**
*Based on a formula estimating the live livestock equivalent of the packer’s gross revenue. (The Live Cattle Equiv. Index has been updated to reflect recent changes in live cattle weight and grading percentages.)
** based on a formula estimating the lean hog equivalent of the packer’s gross revenue.
The cash cattle trade excitement ran its course on Wednesday with prices higher by $2.00. Cash business followed the same course on Thursday, leaving futures trading sluggish. Traders received positive news from the weekly export sales report indicating sales of 23,000 tonnes, but that was not enough to spur strong buying interest in the futures.
Feedlots are now looking to next week with some trepidation due to the fact that packers already have plenty of cattle under contract for the next few weeks and continued weakness in boxed beef prices. Choice Cuts were down $0.03 and Select Cuts were down $1.23.
However, with high demand and an increased rate of slaughter, this may not make much of a difference. Futures contracts are likely to end with an extended holiday weekend. Markets are closed on Mondays for President’s Day.