The fed cattle trade remained at a standstill through the day with bids and asking prices separated by $2-$3 on a live basis (i.e., $109-$110 bids in the face of $112-$113 asking prices). According to the closing report, the national hog base is $1.02 higher ($56.00-$65.50, weighted average $63.42). Corn futures closed fractionally higher in listless trade volume. The stock market closed with the Dow up 5 points (and setting another new record) and the Nasdaq off 19.
At the conclusion of a fairly choppy session, live issues settled mixed (up 40 to off 50), landing near the middle of fairly large ranges. Today's back-and-forth seemed to reflect a good deal of indecision regarding late week cash business and the unveiling of the October 1 on feed report set for Friday afternoon at 2:00 CDT. Beef cut-outs: sharply higher, up $1.67 (select: $190.76) to $2.31 (choice: $199.57) with good demand and moderate to heavy offerings (93 loads of choice cuts, 29 loads of select cuts, 8 loads of trimmings, 19 loads of ground beef).
FRIDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL:
Steady to $2 higher. Look for light to moderate trade volume to develop Friday sometime between late morning and late afternoon.
Feeders also rocked a good deal today, for the most part following the price swings seen in the live market. Yet when everything was said and done, prices benefited from late short covering, closing near the top of daily ranges (i.e., up 62 to 120). Note that all contracts remain substantially below the cash index. CME cash feeder index: 10/18: 155.08, off .10.
Lean hog contracts closed with mixed prices, up 52 to off 41. December through April appeared to be well supported by further news of greater packer spending in the country and bull spreading activity. Once again, spot December and February notched multi month highs. Scoring their best closes since mid August. The carcass value closed moderately higher, supported by better demand for fresh cuts and hams. Pork cut-out: $74.32, up $.44. CME cash lean index for 10/17: 62.21, up 1.21 (DTN Projected lean index for 10/18: 63.34, up 1.13).
FRIDAY'S CASH HOG CALL:
$1 higher. Look for hog buyers to wrap-up the week's procurement chores with one final round of firm bids.
John Harrington can be reached at email@example.com
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