DTN Closing Livestock Comments

Cattle Futures Surrender Much of Midweek Rally

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


Light-to-moderate trade volume surfaced in parts of the South with most live deals marked at $121, generally $3 higher than last week. Scattered dressed deals were reported in parts of the North at $190, a bit more than $1 higher than last week's weighted average basis Nebraska. A few live deals were also booked in Nebraska at $120-$121, steady to $1 higher. According to the closing report, the national hog base is $0.72 higher ($53-$60.50, weighted average $59.27). Corn futures finished several cents higher, supported by light commercial buying. Jazzed by improving chances of the Senate passing tax reform, the stock market exploded to new highs. The Dow closed 331 points higher (at 24,272) and the Nasdaq settled up 49.


Pressured by long liquidation and cash uncertainty, live futures settled 62 to 162 points lower. Spot December closed right on its 40-day moving average, but deferreds remain above the same measures of support. Beef cut-outs: significantly lower, off $1.63 (select: $184.21) to $1.91 (choice: $204.94) with light-to-moderate demand and moderate-to-heavy offerings (99 loads of choice cuts, 35 loads of select cuts, 16 loads of trimmings, 40 loads of ground beef).


Steady/firm with Thursday. Look for moderate trade volume to develop sometime prior to the weekend break, especially in the North.


Feeder futures closed sharply lower as well, off 77 to 150 at final settlement. Both January and March closed slightly below 40-day moving averages. Having said that, nearby issues seem to be treading these days in a narrow, lateral range. CME cash feeder index: 11/29: $156.92, up $0.11.


Another round of profit-taking and long liquidation caused lean hog futures to close 40 to 120 points lower. Yet recent backtracking looks more correction in nature than trend-changing. Summer 2018 contracts are holding far above 40-day moving averages. Carcass value held about steady with stronger hams and ribs countering weakness in fresh cuts and bellies. Pork cut-out: $83.40, off $0.05. CME cash lean index for 11/28: $62.96, up $0.07 (DTN Projected lean index for 11/29: $62.99, up $0.03).


Steady to $1 higher. Hog buyers should open with steady/firm bids in the more as they complete plans for another large Saturday kill (i.e., around 240,000 head).

John A. Harrington can be reached at john.harrington@dtn.com


John Harrington