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Wednesday, February 8, 2023  
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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          02/08 11:42

   Wednesday's WASDE Report Comes and Goes With Little Change to the Markets 

   All in all, Wednesday's market didn't change all that much after seeing the 
WASDE report. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The livestock complex is trading mixed as the market absorbs Wednesday's 
WASDE report. Largely the cattle complex is waiting to see how the week's cash 
cattle market pans out before it makes any move technically. March corn is up 3 
cents per bushel and March soybean meal is up $1.80. The Dow Jones Industrial 
Average is down 227.47 points.


   The live cattle complex is trading mixed as the market is seeing modest 
support in its nearby contracts while the deferred contracts are all venturing 
slightly lower. February live cattle are up $0.27 at $160.85, April live cattle 
are steady at $163.60 and June live cattle are down $0.07 at $159.72. It was 
interesting to see tighter production projected for the second quarter of 2023 
on Wednesday's WASDE report, which also gives feedlots the cue that prices 
could be substantially higher as well. The cash cattle market hasn't seen any 
interest yet, but bids could begin to surface any time now. Asking prices in 
the South are noted at $161 to $162 and are still not established in the North. 
Trade will likely be delayed until Thursday or later.

   The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction held Wednesday reported seven lots (with six 
lots in Texas, and one lot in Arizona), totaling 1,219 head of cattle. Opening 
prices were at $151 and $156; bids were at $156 to $159; and reserve prices 
were $155 to $161.50. One lot sold in Texas at $159.

   Wednesday's WASDE report favored the cattle and beef markets. Beef 
production for 2023 was raised by 50 million pounds as the first quarter of 
2023 grew by 140 million pounds from last month's projections, which more than 
offset the 90-million-pound decline projected for the second quarter of the 
year. The large production for the first quarter of 2023 stems from aggressive 
cow slaughter, while the reduction for the second quarter portrays tighter fed 
cattle supplies. Price projections for the first quarter of 2023 gained $1.00 
to average $158.00 from January's report, and the second quarter prices grew by 
$2.00 from January's report, now projected at $159.00. Both the third and 
fourth quarters of the year remained steady at $157 (third quarter) and $162.00 
(fourth quarter). Beef imports for 2023 grew by 25 million pounds, while 
exports remained steady.

   Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice up $0.07 ($266.79) and select down $3.38 
($253.95) with a movement of 55 loads (38.55 loads of choice, 7.77 loads of 
select, zero loads of trim and 8.18 loads of ground beef).


   The feeder cattle complex continues to trade lower as traders scanned the 
marketplace longing for support. But with the live cattle complex trading mixed 
and no cash cattle trade to speak of yet, the onset of slightly higher corn 
prices is keeping the market trading lower. March feeders are down $0.12 at 
$187.07, April feeders are down $0.20 at $191.15 and May feeders are down $0.10 
at $194.70. All the feeder cattle complex needs to see is a slight spark in 
momentum from either the live cattle contracts or the cash market and its own 
contracts would likely charge higher. Thankfully feeder cattle demand in the 
countryside has been incredibly strong, and the CME Feeder Cattle Index is 
again trading above $180.00, as it closed at $182.23 Tuesday afternoon.


   Wednesday's WASDE report left the hog market mixed messages as the market 
didn't receive any indication that demand could strengthen in the near term; 
but thankfully prices are expected to be better in the third quarter when 
supplies tighten. Even so, from a sheer fundamental sense, the lean hog complex 
is being rather supported at Wednesday's noon hour as both cash prices and pork 
cutout values are higher. Thankfully this comes at a time when the lean hog 
contracts are also trading higher and finding some technical support in the 
marketplace. April lean hogs are up $0.77 at $84.05, June lean hogs are up 
$1.07 at $101.72 and July lean hogs are up $1.05 at $103.72. The market's 
biggest hope is that pork cutout values close higher and Thursday's market 
stands a chance at trading higher too.

   The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 2/7/2023 is up $0.24 at $73.75 and the 
actual index for 2/6/2023 is up $0.22 at $73.51. Hog prices are higher on the 
Daily Direct Morning Hog Report, up $3.23 with a weighted average of $75.45, 
ranging from $67.00 to $80.00 on 6,992 head and a five-day rolling average of 
$73.30. Pork cutouts total 158.74 loads with 142.49 loads of pork cuts and 
16.25 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $3.76, $82.32.

   Wednesday's WASDE report shared mixed findings for the pork complex. Pork 
production fell by 45 million pounds from January's report as carcass weights 
are lighter than originally expected. Unfortunately, both the first and second 
quarters of 2023 saw price decreases compared to January's report for the 
anticipated quarterly price projections. Barrow and gilt prices in the first 
quarter are expected to average $58.00, which is $5.00 cheaper than January's 
projection, and second quarter prices are now expected to average $71.00, which 
is $1.00 lighter than what January's WASDE report forecasted. Pork imports and 
pork exports for 2023 both remained steady.

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

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