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DTN Closing Livestock Comment 09/23 16:14

   Cattle Contracts Close Fully Higher Wednesday

   Cattle contracts closed higher, giving feeders confidence in asking higher 
prices for this week's cash cattle trade.

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   Wednesday boosted the moral throughout the cattle sector after following two 
days of mostly lower trade. The lean hog complex was still able to rally nearby 
contracts but fought some hesitation in deferred contracts. Hog prices are 
higher on the National Direct Afternoon Hog Report, up $1.00 with a weighted 
average of $64.35 on 9,463 head. December lean hogs are up $0.25 at $64.35, 
December corn is down 3/4 cent per bushel and December soybean meal is up 
$3.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 525.05 points and NASDAQ is 
down 330.66 points.


   Wednesday's support was a much-needed change of direction for the cattle 
contracts. Leading into the later part of the week, cash cattle sellers are 
wondering how much support they'd get for higher prices if the board traded 
lower throughout the week. October live cattle closed $0.67 higher at $107.15, 
December live cattle closed $1.02 higher at $111.20 and February live cattle 
closed $0.60 higher at $114.80. Feedlots are sticking to their guns and holding 
tough, waiting for the later part of the week, hoping to get another $1.00 or 
$2.00 out of packers. The countryside was quiet, extremely quiet, as packers' 
bids were few and far in between and feedlots aren't antsy to get cattle moved. 
Wednesday's slaughter is estimated at 120,000 head, steady with a week ago and 
2,000 head more than a year ago.

   Boxed beef prices closed higher: choice up $0.43 ($215.87) and select up 
$1.30 ($207.60) with a movement of 169 loads (92.18 loads of choice, 30.38 
loads of select, 11.38 loads of trim and 35.42 loads of ground beef).

   THURSDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady to $1.00 higher. With feedlots holding 
out until the later part of the week, packers will have to get aggressive in 
their purchasing if they want to buy any cattle this week.


   After the noon hour passed, the feeder cattle complex was able to absorb 
some of the support that was building in the live cattle arena. October feeders 
closed $0.90 higher at $141.52, November feeders closed $0.47 higher at $141.65 
and January feeders closed $0.50 higher at $139.95. The countryside sits in a 
transitioning period as some sale barns and auction yards are seeing calves 
coming to town a couple weeks early, while other sales are still mostly quiet 
waiting for the month of October to arrive before unleashing the hectic nature 
of the fall run. The CME feeder cattle index 9/22/2020: down $0.17, $142.28.


   The lean hog market closed mostly higher, other than some 2021 contracts 
that fought mild pressure through Wednesday's close. October lean hogs closed 
$1.17 higher at $69.50, December lean hogs closed $0.25 higher at $64.35 and 
February lean hogs closed steady at $69.07. Again, the cash market moved $1.00 
higher as packers are tirelessly buying hogs and wanting to be able to 
capitalize on export demand in the near future. Thursday's export demand will 
be highly sought after and will continue to be in the weeks to come. Pork 
cutouts totaled 290.66 loads with 255.01 loads of pork cuts and 35.65 loads of 
trim. Pork cutout values: up $0.31, $88.97. Wednesday's slaughter is estimated 
at 487,000 head, 2,000 head more than a week ago and 11,000 head more than a 
year ago. The CME lean hog index 9/21/2020: up $0.88, $72.17.

   THURSDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady to higher. At some point packers are going 
to step back and work through the hogs they have, but, as of right now, they 
show no signs of weakening their bids in the short term.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached at shayle.stewart@dtn.com

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