DTN Closing Livestock Comments

Cattle Futures Close Generally Higher

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


Between half-hearted packer bids and sketchy asking prices, the cash cattle traded remained grounded throughout the day. Some showlists seemed to be priced around $119-to-$120 in the South and $190+ in the North. Scattered bids stayed safely below these price levels by $3-to-$5. According to the closing report, the national hog base is .38 lower ($50.00-to-$58.82, weighted average $56.61). Corn futures finished fractionally lower, thanks to lackluster and a dearth of positive news. The stock market closed lower with the Dow off 76 points and the Nasdaq down by 19.


Live futures closed higher for the most part with spot December and Feb catching most of the buying interest. Indeed, nearby contracts managed to recovery the lion's hare of Wednesday's sell-off. Late year cash uncertainty seems to be pulling the board in both directions. Friday's country verdict will have much to say regarding the success of those trying to build a bottom here. Beef cut-outs: significantly lower, off $1.33 (select: $183.69) to $1.44 (choice: $201.84) with light to moderate demand and offerings (66 loads of choice cuts, 54 loads of select cuts, seven loads of trimmings, 16 loads of ground beef).


Steady. Cattle buyers and sellers are running out of time to trade cattle this week. Look for some kind of compromise to surface Friday, appealing enough for both sides to sponsor at least moderate trade volume.


Feeders recaptured most of Wednesday's set-back, closing 57-to-82 points higher. The recovery seemed to be primarily supported by short covering and the premium status of the cash index. CME cash feeder index: 12/13: 154.31, up .67.


Lean hogs settled on a mixed basis with closing prices ranging from 82 points higher to 32 lower. Feb through May gained on both expiring December (64.82, up 7) and far deferreds. New spot Feb nudged over its 100-day moving average on the close, but of course the defense of its premiums in the trading days ahead with depend a great deal upon the short-term strength of cash business. The carcass value managed a moderate recovery from the midweek crash, supported by better demand for all primals except processing items. Pork cut-out: $77.31, up $.80. CME cash lean index for 12/12: 64.86, off .11 (DTN Projected lean index for 12/13: 64.64, off .22).


Steady. Hog buyers should wrap-up procurement chores on Friday with basically steady bids. Thursday's country run seemed relatively light, especially in the face of large Saturday kill plans (i.e., 245,000 head or better).

John Harrington can be reached at feelofthemarket@yahoo.com

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John Harrington