Moderate trade volume have surfaced in the southern tier of cattle feeding country with most live sales marked at $108, $2 higher than last week's business. Northern bids of $108/$166-172 have not yet generated much traffic. Asking prices on unsold cattle are around $110 in the South and $172-174 plus in the North. According to the midday report, the national hog base is 0.20 lower ($46.00-50.50, weighted average $48.65). Corn futures are generally holding gains around 3 cents near the top of the hour, supported by spillover buying flowing from the bean market. Equities at midday are lower with the Dow off 29 points and the Nasdaq negative by 3.
Live futures are well supported at midday thanks to evidence of greater packer spending in the country and technical buying interest. Most contracts are 20 to 90 higher at this time with the front end better served than the back. Some profit taking could surface late as traders position ahead of the on feed report set for release at 2:00 CDT. Beef cut-outs are steady/firm at midday, steady (choice, $191.51) to up .09 (select, $188.50) with light to moderate box movement (41 loads of choice cuts, 9 loads of select cuts, 15 loads of trimmings, 20 loads of coarse grinds).
For the most part, feeder issues are moderately higher, feeding off the firm undertone in the live market, Nearby contracts seem to be held down a bit by the discounted nature of the cash index.
Lean hog futures have experienced a tough week, sagging lower almost every day thanks to the non-stop erosion of cash sales and carcass value. Once again, nearby issues are bearing most of the bearish burden. Prices are generally 15 to 117 lower with spot October once again setting a new contract low. The carcass value at midday is quoted moderately higher with processing strength overshadowing weakness on fresh cuts. Pork cut-out: $73.63, up 0.59.
CME cash lean index for 09/20: 60.12, off 0.80 (DTN Projected lean index for 09/21: 59.08, off 1.04).
John A. Harrington can be reached at email@example.com
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