Light to moderate trading developed in several cattle feeding states with the best test evident in Nebraska and Kansas. Most live deals were marked at $106, generally $2 lower. The national hog base closed off $1.04 compared with the prior day settlement ($70-$78, weighted average $77.03). Corn futures settled virtually unchanged as traders cautiously positioned before Friday's stocks and acreage reports. The stock market reversed from early gains, closing 165 points lower basis the Dow, and 116 lower basis the Nasdaq.
Futures closed mixed, up 110 to off 32. Soon-to-expire spot June attracted the most buying interest as it prepares to converge with the cash market before expiration. Most contracts traded in the red throughout the day. But a late rally allowed prices to settle generally 100 points above session lows. Beef cutouts: weak to lower (choice, $215.30 off $1.53, select $200.88 off $0.69) on light demand and light-to-moderate offerings (65 loads of choice cuts, 29 loads of select cuts, 20 loads of trimmings, 17 loads of coarse grinds).
THURSDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL:
Steady/weak with Wednesday. Look for trade volume to increase on Thursday and Friday at prices near steady with the midweek trade.
Futures closed mostly moderately lower, off 12 to 85. It was one of those days when closes could have been worse. Feeder issues were pressured through most of the session, but late short-covering worked to allow contracts to settle near the highs of the day. CME cash feeder index: 06/26: $141.78, up $0.03.
Futures closed mixed, up 110 to off 15. Spot July closed back above 80, supported by the premium of the cash index as well as ideas that ready hog supplies should remain manageable for the next 30-45 days. Having said that, the action was quite slow as traders jockeyed for position ahead of the June 1 Hogs and Pigs report due out Thursday. Pork cutout: $87.66 (FOB Plant) up $0.25. CME cash lean 06/25: $85.63, off $0.57 (DTN Projected lean index for 06/26: $84.82, off $0.81.)
THURSDAY'S CASH HOG CALL:
Steady to $1 lower. Hog buyers should remain on the defensive in the morning as they continue to work toward better processing margins.
John A. Harrington can be reached at email@example.com
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