The fed cattle trade is at a standstill at midday with just a few bids noted in parts of the North (i.e., $104/$165-168). Generally speaking, asking prices are around $110 in the South and $172-174 plus in the North. It's beginning to look as if significant trade volume will not surface until after the on feed report Friday afternoon. According to the midday report, the national hog base is .66 lower ($48.00-51.50, weighted average $49.55). Corn futures are fractionally mixed near the top of the noon hour in lackluster trade volume. Equities at midday are lower with the Dow off 35 points and the Nasdaq negative by 17.
Live prices are mixed as traders prepare to move into the final hour of the session with price changes ranging from 27 higher to 100 lower. Nearbys have been in the red for most of the session, pressured by profit taking in the wake of Wednesday's impressive pop.
The premium of spot October may also be reined in a bit by uncertainty surrounding cash potential. Beef cut-outs are lower at midday, off .21 (select, $188.33) to 0.25 (choice, $191.79) with light to moderate box movement (50 loads of choice cuts, 12 loads of select cuts, 10 loads of trimmings, 10 loads of coarse grinds).
For the most part, feeder are moderately lower at midday (i.e., mostly down 10 to 92), checked by positioning relative to yesterday's surge forward and the September 1 on feed report set for release Friday (i.e., 2:00 CDT). Yet losses seem to be moderating from the toughest wave of selling seen earlier this morning.
Triple-digit losses blanket the first three lean issues at midday (i.e., off 112 to 190) as tough fundamentals continue to make it difficult for bulls to breathe. The rest of the complex is moderately lower. Most of the trade volume seems to consist of bear spreading and long liquidation. The carcass value is sharply lower at midday with all major primals quoted lower (especially the rib, picnic, and ham). Pork cut-out: $74.13, off $2.19. CME cash lean index for 09/19: 60.92, off 0.96 (DTN Projected lean index for 09/20: 60.12, off 0.80).
John A. Harrington can be reached at email@example.com
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