The fed cattle trade is at a standstill at midday with business apparently done for the week. Just so-so trade volume totals suggest that some yards will carryover unsold steers and heifers. On the hand, the final weekly slaughter total might imply fully adequate country movement. According to the midday report, the national hog base is 0.54 lower ($73.00-79.50, weighted average $77.98). Corn futures are 2-3 cents higher near the top of the noon hour, supported by some late week profit taking in light trade volume. Equities at midday are rebounding from Thursday sell-off with the Dow up 36 points and the Nasdaq positive by 33.
Live contracts are 20-45 points higher at midday, no more than a modest bounce in the wake of Thursday's crash (not to mention the bearish price swing suffered earlier in the week). Barring a major late-session rally, live charts will look pretty miserable by the time the CME turned off the lights for the week. Beef cut-outs are mixed at midday, up .16 (select, $196.35) to off 0.86 (choice, $199.77) with light box movement (33 loads of choice cuts, 6 loads of select cuts, 2 loads of trimmings, 12 loads of coarse grinds).
Feeder futures are narrowly mixed in late morning business (i.e., up 27 to off 20). Given the way spot August is dragging its heels so far behind the cash index, many traders must assume the sale barns will have a tough time filling the bleachers will robust demand through the end of the month.
Following the same pattern that has dominated all week, lean hog futures are mixed at midday with nearby contracts higher and deferred issues lower. Keep in mind that spot August is scheduled to expire on Monday. Carcass value at midday is moderately higher with all primals quoted stronger expect a $1.50 loss tied to the loin composite. Pork cut-out: $95.56, up 0.39. CME cash lean index for 08/09: 85.50, off 0.12 (DTN Projected lean index for 08/09: 85.24, off 0.26).
John A. Harrington can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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