Feedlot country is typically quiet near Monday noon as packers complete the collection of new showlists. This week's offering looks modestly larger than last week, yet very closed to unchanged. Asking prices are not yet defined, but one can only assume they will be sharply higher (e.g., $130-$132 live) given the runaway pace of the last two weeks. According to the midday report, the national hog base is $0.55 lower ($56.50-$64.36, weighted average $61.03). The corn market is fractionally higher in slow, late-morning business. The stock market is higher, supported by the aggressive Broadcom bid for Qualcomm. The Dow is currently 8 points higher, the same as the Nasdaq.
Live futures are significantly lower as business moves toward the noon hour. Spot December and February are catching most of the early week heat, suggesting bull-spreaders taking profits in the wake of last week's big rally. Beef cut-outs are significantly higher at midday, up $0.51 (choice, $209.25) to $1.45 (select, $194.53) with light box movement (28 loads of choice cuts, 14 loads of select cuts, 11 loads of trimmings, 12 loads of coarse grinds).
Feeders are retreating by triple digits near midday (i.e., off 110 to 147), a function of bulls taking profits and technicians reacting to overbought conditions. Volume is said to be quite light.
Lean hog futures are narrowly mixed at this time with prices ranging from 20 higher to 30 lower. It's really a pretty listless trading affair so far, suggesting that specs and commercials are waiting to garner more clues regarding slaughter size and pork demand potential through the balance of the year's final quarter. Carcass value at midday is lower, primarily thanks to softer demand for bellies and picnics. Pork cut-out: $79.84, off $0.24. CME cash lean index for 11/02: $69.28, off $0.14 (DTN Projected lean index for 11/03: $68.95, off $0.33).
John A. Harrington can be reached at email@example.com
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