Cattle Market Summary 7.5.24

July 5, 2024


It was a mostly quiet day for the livestock complex with some cash cattle trade in the South developing for $190, which is steady with last week's market but at the time of this writing, still no Northern dressed trade had developed. Hog prices closed lower on the Daily Direct Afternoon Hog Report, down $1.52 with a weighted average price of $89.45 on 2,459 head. December corn is up 4 1/2 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is up $3.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 67.87 points.

Friday's export report shared that beef net sales of 15,500 mt for 2024 were down 8% from the previous week but up 6% from the prior 4-week average. The three largest buyers were China (4,000 mt), Japan (3,900 mt) and Mexico (1,800 mt). Pork net sales of 59,100 mt for 2024 -- a marketing year high -- were up 51% from the previous week and 96% from the prior 4-week average. The three largest buyers were Mexico (34,600 mt), China (9,500 mt) and Japan (3,700 mt).


The live cattle complex closed mixed with the market's nearby contracts pushing higher through Friday's close thanks to the added support of the cash cattle sales in the Southern plains. Southern live cattle are selling for $190 which is steady with last week's weighted average, but so far, the North has yet to trade any cattle. It's evident by packer's participation in today's market that they're still short bought and need cattle. If they weren't short bought they wouldn't be worried about buying any cattle and would have taken the opportunity to have an extra long weekend. But instead, bids are being offered up in the North and some cattle have traded in the Southern plains. Asking prices for cattle left to trade in the South remain firm at $192 and asking prices in the North are firm at $315. Bids of $198 live and $312 to $313 are currently being offered in Nebraska. It wouldn't be surprising to see cattle trade later today for better money, or to see feedlots hold their showlists until next week as they're current enough to do so. Either way, we've got to again congratulate feedlot managers on their successful week as marketing cattle over a major holiday is never easy and they did so successfully. August live cattle closed $0.50 higher at $186.42, October live cattle closed $0.32 higher at $187.17 and December live cattle closed $0.07 lower at $188.77.

Boxed beef prices closed higher: choice up $0.59 ($330.43) and select up $0.68 ($305.06) with a movement of 89 loads (51.34 loads of choice, 13.14 loads of select, 18.63 loads of trim and 6.07 loads of ground beef).

Friday's slaughter is estimated at 116,000 head – 3,000 head less than a week ago and 9,000 head less than a year ago. Saturday's slaughter is projected to be around 42,000 head. The week's total slaughter is estimated at 517,000 head -- incomparable to a week ago but 19,000 head less than a year ago.

MONDAY'S CATTLE CALL: Higher. Given that Northern feedlots are willing to potentially wait until next week to trade their cattle shows that they still possess the majority of the market's leverage and that they're going to work every angle possible to advance the cash sector.


The feeder cattle complex slumbered through Friday's trade acting as though it was going to potentially close higher thanks to the steady trade in the fed cash cattle market, but as the afternoon drug on, traders flaked out ahead of the day's close and let the complex close lower. August feeders closed $1.90 lower at $261.47, September feeders closed $1.40 lower at $262.22 and October feeders closed $1.30 lower at $262.22. It didn't help matters that the corn complex caught traders' attention as nearby prices jumped $0.05 to $0.07 throughout the day. Nevertheless, traders are going to be scanning the market early next week for additional support and hopefully that comes from the countryside as sale barns will be operating on their normal schedules again. The CME feeder cattle index 7/4/2024: down $0.61, $255.08.


It's disappointing (although not surprising) that the futures complex didn't rally over today's exciting news from the export report which shared a new marketing year high for pork. If today wasn't a Friday after a major holiday, then I'd almost guarantee that the complex would have traded higher and celebrated the demand. But with there being fewer traders participating in today's market, the lean hog complex didn't see that type of support. July lean hogs closed $0.12 higher at $89.87, August lean hogs closed $0.65 lower at $89.17 and October lean hogs closed $0.70 lower at $73.47. Pork cutouts totaled 253.18 loads with 228.71 loads of pork cuts and 24.47 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $1.28, $94.91.

Friday's slaughter is estimated at 456,000 head -- 16,000 head less than a week ago and 12,000 head less than a year ago. Saturday's slaughter is projected to be around 160,000 head. The CME lean hog index 7/3/2024: not available at this time.

MONDAY'S HOG CALL: Steady. Given that packers were more aggressive this week than what they were expected to be, they may be less aggressive in next week's market if domestic demand isn't sufficient.

Source: DTN, ShayLe Stewart DTN Livestock Analyst