Just a few live sales in western Nebraska and Colorado have been reported at midday (i.e., $114, $8 lower than last week). It's possible that some asking prices have firm in light of renewed strength in spot June live cattle futures. According to the noon report, the national hog base is 0.30 higher ($63.00-66.00, weighted average $64.00). The corn trade near the top of the noon hour is fractionally lower in light volume. The stock market is lower at midday with the Dow off 35 and the Nasdaq down by 3.
Bears are letting bulls up to breath at midday with most contracts moderately higher. Spot June has enjoyed the most forward progress. But even here there's not a great deal to write home about, especially given the severe losses suffered earlier in the week. So far it looks like nothing more than a modest dead cat bounce. Beef cut-outs are significantly higher at midday, up 0.29 (select, $208.79) to $1.40 (choice, $232.43) with moderate box movement (38 loads of choice cuts, 47 loads of select cuts, zero loads of trimmings, 9 loads of coarse grinds).
Feeders are also trying to recovery at midday with most issues 35 to 100 higher. August has been successful in attracting the most buying interest. Like live futures, today's lift seems little more than corrective short covering,
Lean hog contracts are trading on a mixed basis as the market moves into the final hour of business. July and August are losing ground to spot June and the far deferreds, suggesting the unwinding of spreads. June continues to be supported by seasonally improving fundamentals. Carcass value is sharply higher at midday, primarily supported by stronger demand for loins, picnics, and bellies. Pork cut-out: $75.71, up $1.32. CME cash lean index for 05/15: 66.14, up 0.91 (DTN Projected lean index for 05/16: 67.01, up .87).
John A. Harrington can be reached at email@example.com
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