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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          06/12 11:49

   Wednesday's WASDE Report Points to Strong Pork Exports 

   Cash cattle asking prices are noted at $187 to $188 in the South, but still 
remain unestablished in the North. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The livestock complex is trading mixed into Wednesday's noon hour as the 
lean hog complex is elated to see stronger export interest noted in the 
morning's WASDE report, but the live cattle complex is waiting for cash cattle 
trade to develop. July corn is up 4 cents per bushel and July soybean meal is 
up $1.90. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 99.20 points.


   The live cattle complex was trading higher through most of Wednesday 
morning, but with midday boxed beef prices slightly lower, traders are letting 
the complex drift lower. June live cattle are down $0.52 at $183.20, August 
live cattle are down $0.65 at $178.25 and October live cattle are down $0.72 at 
$181.00. The cash cattle market still hasn't seen any trade develop but asking 
prices have been noted in the South at $187 to $188, while asking prices in the 
North remain elusive. It's not likely packer interest will really develop until 

   Wednesday's WASDE report was mostly favorable to the cattle and beef 
markets. Beef production for 2024 fell by 5 million pounds as the market is 
currently seeing slower chain speeds but that won't gravely affect production 
as heavier carcass weights will offset the market's slower throughput. Steer 
prices in the remaining three quarters of the year saw mostly higher price 
trends compared to last month's report. Steers in the second quarter of 2024 
are expected to average $186 (up $2.00 from last month), steers in the third 
quarter are expected to average $183 (up $1.00 from last month), and the fourth 
quarter of 2024 is the only quarter that saw a price reduction from last month 
as steers are now expected to average $186 (down $1.00 from last month). Beef 
imports remained steady at 4,171 million pounds for 2024, and beef exports 
remained steady at 2,818 million pounds for 2024.

   Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $0.45 ($317.76) and select down 
$2.08 ($298.54) with a movement of 74 loads (39.16 loads of choice, 25.17 loads 
of select, zero loads of trim and 9.75 loads of ground beef).


   The feeder cattle complex is trading mildly higher as the market is thankful 
for the support it's seen fundamentally already this week. Superior's Corn Belt 
Classic had an extremely strong showing which has helped keep the market's 
overall confidence elevated. Based on the unofficial sale averages I've seen, 
region two steer prices for steers weighing 500 to 740 pounds were $17 to 
$35/cwt more than what the sale averaged in 2023. The only weight group for the 
region that saw a price reduction compared to last year were the steers 
averaging 750 to 790 pounds, and they traded roughly $10/cwt less than a year 
ago. Again, these are based on the market's unofficial sale prices, but either 
way it's an encouraging trend to note. August feeders are up $0.17 at $257.82, 
September feeders are up $0.22 at $258.90 and October feeders are up $0.02 at 


   The lean hog complex is trading moderately higher into Wednesday's noon hour 
as the market is encouraged to see the uptick in demand noted in the morning's 
WASDE report. With exports increased by 100 million pounds for 2024, traders 
are willing to advance the contracts upon such news. July lean hogs are up 
$1.45 at $93.72, August lean hogs are up $0.95 at $90.05 and October lean hogs 
are up $0.47 at $77.15. Yes, morning pork cutout values are down, but given the 
wild swings currently seen in the belly, that's expected.

   Wednesday's WASDE report shared mixed results for the hog and pork markets. 
2024 pork production grew by 42 million pounds as current slaughter speeds are 
more aggressive than originally assumed and carcass weights are heavier as 
well. Quarterly hog prices saw a slight reduction from last month's estimates 
as second quarter hog prices in 2024 are now expected to average $66 (down 
$2.00 from last month), third quarter hog prices are expected to average $68 
(down $3.00 from last month) and fourth quarter prices were unchanged at 
$56.00. 2024 pork imports grew by 10 million pounds, but 2024 pork exports grew 
by 100 million pounds.

   The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 6/11/2024 is up $0.06 at $91.38, and 
the actual index for 6/10/2024 is down $0.20 at $91.32. Hog prices are higher 
on the Daily Direct Morning Hog Report, up $1.20 with a weighted average price 
$87.08, ranging from $83.00 to $89.00 on 4,188 head and a five-day rolling 
average of $86.78. Pork cutouts total 169.57 loads with 151.96 loads of pork 
cuts and 17.61 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $3.88, $99.77.



   Join us Friday, June 14, for the DTN Ag Summit Series: Navigating the Cattle 
Market's Ups and Downs. The cattle market's anything but predictable these 
days. It seemed poised for a comeback, only to be hit with an avian influenza 
outbreak in dairy cattle. Even in this challenging environment, there are tools 
producers can use to manage their risk. In this DTN Ag Summit Series, we'll 
discuss the ins and outs of livestock insurance as well as cattle market 
developments cow-calf producers need to know for the 2024 season. Click here to 

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached


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