Light trade at midday in evident in parts of cattle feeding country (i.e., $115-to-$116 in the South, $6-to-$7 lower than last week; $184-to-$185 in the North, $7-to-$8 below last week's weighted average basis Nebraska). According to the noon report, the national hog base is $.12 lower ($58.00-to-$65.00, weighted average $64.36). Corn futures have slipped from early gains and are now 2 cents lower, reined in by profit taking and spillover selling from beans. Equities are generally higher at midday with the Dow up 75 points and the Nasdaq positive by 56.
Live contracts tried to stabilize through midsession, but the board's long held bearish bias seems to be resurfacing near midday. Prices have softened from early session highs and are now trading $47-to-$102 lower. Resumed price pressure is tied to sharply lower feedlot sales and the anticipation of building beef tonnage through the balance of May and June. Beef cut-outs are moderately lower at midday, off $.50 (select, $209.01) to off $.65 (choice, $230.99) with light to moderate box movement (23 loads of choice cuts, 20 loads of select cuts, 17 loads of trimmings and eight loads of coarse grinds).
Most feeder contracts are $60-to-$100 lower as trade prepares to move into the final hour of the session. New lows in deferred live futures are giving this market no encouragement. The only place selling interest appears to be on low heat is spot May, supported somewhat by the premium of the cash index.
Lean hog contracts are mixed at midday, up $92 to off $35. June and July are gaining on deferreds thanks to cash strength and bull spreading activity. Carcass value is slightly lower at midday as a sharp break in the loin primals offsets gains in butts, ribs and hams. Pork cut-out: $74.17, off $.07. CME cash lean index for 05/14: $65.23, up $.58 (DTN Projected lean index for 05/15: $66.14, up $.91).
John Harrington can be reached email@example.com
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