Not a peep can be heard from cattle buyers or sellers at midday, and it's a good bet that biz is done for the week.
According to the midday report, the national hog base is 0.76 lower compared with the Prior Day settlement ($50.00-54.00, weighted average $53.12). "Featureless" is the name of the game in the corn trade as we move toward the top of the noon hour. Prices are fractionally mixed.
The stock market is some lower at midday with the Dow off 13 points and the Nasdaq down 5.
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Technically speaking, live prices are mixed just before the noon hour, ranging from 25 higher to 12 lower. For what it's worth, more contracts are in the green than red. Yet there's not much going on here as traders taking profits and brace before the release of the April 1 on feed report set for 2:00 CDT this afternoon. As usual, most eyes will be focused on March placement activity with the average guess put at 107-108 of 2016. Beef cut-outs are significantly higher at midday, up 0.49 (select, $204.06) to $1.97 (choice, $217.69) with very light box movement (18 loads of choice cuts, 14 loads of select cuts, 6 loads of trimmings, 10 loads of coarse grinds).
Most contracts here are in the green at midday, though not by much. Spot April is catching some buying interest thanks to this week's appreciation of the cash index.
Lean hog futures remain on the defensive today linked to plentiful country offerings and choppy at best wholesale product demand. If all summer months close the week under 70, it will represent both technical and psychological damage. The pork carcass value quoted at midday is substantially higher with the help of better demand for hams and butts. Pork cut-out: $75.34, up 0.55. CME cash lean index for 04/19: 61.59, off 0.30 (DTN Projected lean index for 04/20: 61.10, off 0.49).
John A. Harrington can be reached at email@example.com
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