DTN Closing Livestock Comments

Lean Futures Shake Off Bearish H&P Vibes and Close Impressively Higher

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


The cash cattle trade Tuesday was about as exciting as a wet sack of fireworks. A few showlists were priced around $112 live and $175 plus dressed. According to the closing report, the national hog base is $0.16 higher ($68-$79.50, weighted average $77.70). The corn trade bounced about a nickel higher, recovering less than half of Monday's crash with the help of light commercial-buying and short-covering. The stock market closed 132 points lower with the Nasdaq off 65.


With the exception of spot August (i.e., off 45 points), live futures finished moderately higher, up 20 to 52. Contracts did a decent jog holding above shelves of support over 100-day moving average. December landed its highest close since March 16. Beef cut-outs: mixed, up $0.94 (select: $199.71) to off $1.62 (choice: $210.26) with light-to-moderate demand and heavy offerings (102 loads of choice cuts, 32 loads of select cuts, 15 loads of trimmings, 28 loads of ground beef).


Steady to $2 higher. Short-bought packers should start to more aggressively kick tires upon returning from the holiday. Yet significant trade volume could certainly be delayed until sometime Friday.


The feeder market closed on a mixed basis (i.e., up 87 to off 35, though modest losses were confined to the first third of 2019. Nearby issues seemed to be supported by bull-spreading interest with spot August advancing with confidence despite the substantial discount of the cash index. CME feeder index 07/02: $143.42, up $0.75.


Although spot July closed moderately higher (i.e., up 52), progress was somewhat checked by the discount of the cash index. On the other hand, the balance of 2018 contracts look off like a house on fire, closing 115 to 162 higher. August through December have been pounded by bears worried about the enormous spring pig crop and the successful securing of sufficient late-year pork demand to handle the tonnage. Tuesday's pop seemed tied to profit-taking and the unwinding of bull spreads. Carcass value closed solidly lower, pressured by softer demand for all primals except the belly and picnic. Pork cut-out: $86.65, off $0.73. CME cash lean index for 06/29: $82.97, off $0.72 (DTN Projected lean index for 07/02: $82.51, off $0.46).


Steady. Look for post-holiday cash hog business to resume on Thursday with basically steady bids.

John A. Harrington can be reached at john.harrington@dtn.com


John Harrington