DTN Closing Livestock Comments

December Hogs Stage Bullish Debut as Spot Month

John Harrington
By  John Harrington , DTN Livestock Analyst
(DTN file photo)


Feedlot country was typically quiet with Monday activity limited to the distribution of new showlists. Ready numbers appear to be generally smaller with only Kansas offering a few more marketable steer and heifers. According to the closing report, the national hog base is .82 higher ($53.00-60.75, weighted average $58.41). Corn futures closed 2-plus cents lower, pressured by forecasts of better harvest weather. The Dow closed at a record higher (22,956), up 85 points. The Nasdaq settled 18 in the green.


For the most part, live issues closed 15 to 110 points lower with only a few far deferred contracts finishing above water. Spot October was pressured a bit by the discount of feedlot cash. Even though the country seems to be on a roll in terms of packer spending, some seem to be nervous about how much higher October can lead before it expires. Delivery interest against October has been limited (mostly tied to the new delivery location of West Point), clearly a tribute to cash confidence. Yet a board premium could certainly attract more delivery interest over the next several weeks is cash appetite begins to falter. Beef cut-outs: moderately higher, up .52 (select: $190.57) to .59 (choice: $198.81) with moderate demand and light offerings (42 loads of choice cuts, 20 loads of select cuts, 24 loads of trimmings, 12 loads of ground beef).


Steady to $2 higher. Bids and asking prices should remain poorly defined Tuesday as both sides wait to get a better handle of mid-month fundamentals.


Feeder futures settled 5 to 60 lower, finally sagging along with live cattle softness. Spot October held close to unchanged thanks to the premium status of the cash index. On an estimated run of 7,500 head (up from 5,197 last week and 5,934 in 2016), Oklahoma City sold feeder steers steady to $2 higher. Heifer mates were tagged unevenly steady. CME cash feeder index: 10/13: 155.66, up .43.


With the bullish spotlight on December and February, lean hog futures launched the week with a firm undertone. Contracts settled mostly 20 to 150 points higher with front contracts showing the most strength thanks to reports of stronger cash sales and appreciating carcass values. Indeed, spot December and February managed to land their highest closes since mid-August. The carcass value reflected decent firmness to start the week, supported by better demand for loin, rib, and ham cuts. Pork cut-out: $75.25, up .81. CME cash lean index for 10/12: 59.51, up .36 (DTN Projected lean index for 10/13: 60.24, up .73).


$1 higher. Look for cash hog buyers to open with higher bids in the morning, still motivated by excellent processing margins.

For more from John, see www.feelofthemarket.com


John Harrington