Activity in feedlot country was restricted to the distribution of new showlists. This week's offering looks mixed, larger in Kansas and Colorado, but smaller in Nebraska and Texas. Overall, ready cattle numbers look tighter than last week. According to the closing report, the national hog base is $0.07 lower ($52-$59.20, weighted average $58.92). Corn futures closed 3 cents-plus lower, checked by the same old supply blues and a general lack of buying interest. The stock market finished higher with the Dow up 56 points and Nasdaq better by 35.
Live issues settled moderately lower, off generally 22 to 62 points thanks to long liquidation on ongoing cash worries. Spot December closed below is 100-day moving average for the first time since just after Labor Day. Last week's 5-area steers averaged $117.46, that such a premium over futures didn't seem to spark much inspiration today. Beef cut-outs: significantly higher, up $0.51 (choice: $205.59) to $2,14 (select: $185.97) with moderate-to-good demand and moderate-to-heavy offerings (104 loads of choice cuts, 26 loads of select cuts, 30 loads of trimmings, 36 loads of ground beef).
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TUESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL:
Steady. Cash action on Tuesday is typically quiet, and Tuesday should prove no exception. Bid and asking prices may remain quite shadowy until Wednesday or Thursday.
Feeders slipped to their lowest levels seen since early September before finding some short-covering interest. At the close, prices were no worse than mixed, up 22 to off 85 points. On an estimated run of 7,700 head (down from 8,938 last week and 9,292 in 2016), Oklahoma City sold feeder steers and heifers steady to $5 lower. Lightweight calves were marketed $2-$7 higher. CME cash feeder index: 12/08: $154.32, off $0.08.
Soon-to-expire December held about steady, but most of the complex negatively responded to long liquidation and technical-selling. June and July settled just north of 40-day moving averages. The early summer of 2018 needs to quickly find technical support in order to ward off new waves of selling. Carcass value closed sharply lower with all primals quoted lower (especially the belly, off $7.48) except the butt. Pork cut-out: $81.69, off $2.01. CME cash lean index for 12/07: $65.48, up $0.18 (DTN Projected lean index for 12/08: $65.17, off $0.31).
TUESDAY'S CASH HOG CALL:
Steady to $1 lower. Look for hog buyers to open with steady/weak bids in the morning, cautious in the face of the struggling product trade.
John A. Harrington can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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