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Weekly Pork Export Sales Were Huge; Beef Awful

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Thursday December 7, 2017


The tone in the cash is changing from the firm trade of last week. Cash was down .50 yesterday and more of the same is expected today and tomorrow. Large weekly slaughter and heavy weights appear to be finally overwhelming outstanding demand for U.S. pork. The cutout was down $2.03. Mexico went on a buying binge last week. Weekly pork export sales were outstanding at 22,600 MT, up 72% from the 4-week average. Mexico took 64% of these sales. Stockpiling before NAFTA melts away? Export shipments were good, up 6% from the 4-week average. Futures broke down yesterday on moderate volume of trade reported at 35,500 with open interest declining by nearly 1,800 cars. Long liquidation including fund liquidation appears to be taking place. Given all of the worries as outlined in last nights evening wire, look for additional downside follow through today.


In addition to lower cash steer prices and sharply lower wholesale beef prices, weekly beef export sales were awful at just 2,700 MT, down 78% from the 4-week average. Shipments faired a bit better, at 16,400 MT, up 6% from the 4-week average. Fund liquidation was confirmed by the decline in open interest (down 5,400) from yesterdays lower performance and close. FC open interest was down 877. Jan feeders look too cheap relative to the feeder index (15611 vs 14600) but the rest of the board looks poised to break further. Look for additional cash trade today but likely at lower levels than the $1.17-$1.18 and $187-$188 paid yesterday. Beef is the key and were expecting choice cutout to drop hard and fast. The select beef cutout is trading down to levels not seen since the middle of December one year ago. Look for downside follow through today with the possible exception of Jan feeders.

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The risk of loss in trading futures and options on futures can be substantial. The author does not guarantee the accuracy of the above information, although it is believed that the sources are reliable and the information accurate. The author assumes no liability or responsibility for direct or indirect, special, consequential or incidental damages or for any other damages relating or arising out of any action taken as a result of any information or advice contained in this commentary. The author disclaims any express or implied liability or responsibility for any action taken, which is solely at the liability and responsibility of the user. In addition, the author of this piece currently trades for his own account and may have financial interest in the following derivative products: (corn, soybeans, soybean meal, soybean oil, lean hogs, live cattle, feeder cattle).

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About the author

Dennis Smith has been a full service commodity broker specializing in grain and livestock trading for over 25 years. Dennis has a wide range of customers, many of whom are grain and livestock producers. Dennis develops and helps execute hedging and speculative strategies in his Daily Livestock Wire which is prepared each afternoon exclusively for his customers.

Dennis grew up in Central Illinois before launching his brokerage career.

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