Light-to-moderate trade volume surfaced in most areas of cattle feeding country. Most live sales in the South were marked at $118, $1 lower than last week. Live deals in the North were tagged as high as $120, $0.50 higher than last week's weighted average basis Nebraska. Scattered dressed deals ranged from $188-$190, generally steady. Yet trade volume totals suggest that more cash business is waiting in the wings on Wednesday, especially in the North. According to the closing report, the national hog base is $0.13 higher ($51.00-$57.50, weighted average $56.59). Corn futures settled on a steady basis in very slow trade volume. The stock market closed higher with the Dow positive by 160 points and the Nasdaq up 71.
Moving to reassess the wisdom of Monday's sell-off, live contracts quickly threw the car in reverse and closed 87 to 130 higher. The buying was tied to short-covering and pre-holiday profit-taking. February and April did manage to finish back above 40-day moving average. On the other hand, spot December still faces tough overhead resistance near its 40-day moving average near $119.15. Beef cut-outs: significantly higher, up $0.60 (select: $188.65) to $2.45 (choice: $208.63) with light-to-moderate demand and heavy offerings (86 loads of choice cuts, 50 loads of select cuts, 19 loads of trimmings, 22 loads of ground beef).
WEDNESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL:
Steady with Tuesday's best. Look for another round of light-to-moderate cash business to develop at midweek before packers and feedlot managers break for Thanksgiving.
Feeder issues bounced higher along with their live counterparts. For the most part, prices here managed to correct 100 to 207 points higher. CME cash feeder index: 11/20: $156.91, off $0.64.
Lean hog contracts gave back pretty much all of Monday's rally. After a token salute to the premium status of the cash index, the board shook off any sense of optimism and closed 27 to 152 lower. The front end may be back to plans to lead the cash market lower, perhaps fearing both large late-year supplies and inadequate pork demand. The carcass value slumped sharply lower as faltering demand for fresh cuts and hams overshadow higher belly business. Pork cut-out: $80.87, off $1.40. CME cash lean index for 11/17: $64.83, off $0.59 (DTN Projected lean index for 11/20: $64.41, off $0.42).
WEDNESDAY'S CASH HOG CALL:
Steady. Pre-holiday cash hog bids should be about steady as both sides seem content with their early week work.
John A. Harrington can be reached at email@example.com
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