The cash cattle trade is slowly developing at midday with dressed deals marked in Iowa and Nebraska at $175, fully steady with last week. The South remains at a standstill where bids and asking prices are still separated by $2-3 (i.e., $109-110 versus $112-plus). According to the midday report, the national hog base is 0.24 lower ($60.00-64.50, weighted average $63.25). Corn futures are 3-4 cents lower near the top of the noon hour, checked by long liquidation and typical harvest pressure. The stock market is on a roll near midday with the Dow setting yet another record (i.e., 23,277, up 114 points). The Nasdaq is called 31 higher.
For the most part, live issues are moderately higher at midday, ranging from 10 to 35 higher. But the action seems to be on the choppy side specs and commercials cautiously position ahead of the October 1 on feed report set fpr release this afternoon. Beef cut-outs are moderately higher at midday, up 0.45 (select, $191.21) to 0.49 (choice, $200.06) with light to moderate box movement (33 loads of choice cuts, 11 loads of select cuts, 10 loads of trimmings, 16 loads of coarse grinds).
FEEDER CATTLE: Feeder contracts are under pressure near the top of the noon hour with triple digit losses evident in several 2018 contracts. This would appear to be late week profit taking following yesterday's run-up. Apparently traders view lower corn prices as less than helpful.
Lean hog futures are moderately higher as business moves into the week's final hour (i.e., up 15 to 50). Front-end issues are particularly supported by the recent rise in the cash index as well as the bullish news contained in the noon carlot report. The carcass value is sharply higher, supported by much better demand for belly, ham, and picnic cuts. Pork cut-out: $73.93, up 0.05. CME cash lean index for 10/18: 63.34, up 1.13 (DTN Projected lean index for 10/19: 64.21, up 0.87).
John A. Harrington can be reached at email@example.com
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