DTN Closing Livestock Comments

Oversold Meat Futures Finally Generate Some Short-Covering Interest and Spec-Buying

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

GENERAL COMMENTS

Feedlot country remained pretty much at a standstill with just a few scattered sales reported in parts of Iowa. According to the closing report, the national hog base is $0.08 lower ($68-$76, weighted average $75.21). Corn futures settled as much as 5-6 cents higher, supported by lower-than-expected ending stocks estimated by USDA Thursday. The stock market staged a decent recovery with the Dow closing 224 points higher with the Nasdaq up 107.

LIVE CATTLE

Live futures managed to recovery from Wednesday's crash. Contracts settled 60 to 135 points higher with spot August and October scoring triple-digit gains and generally gaining on deferreds. August and December remain trapped between 40-day and 100-day moving averages. Beef cut-outs: lower, off $0.13 (select: $197.01) to $0.86 (choice: $206.58) with light-to-moderate demand and offerings (80 loads of choice cuts, 19 loads of select cuts, 7 loads of trimmings, 19 loads of ground beef).

FRIDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL:

Steady. Once again, cattle buyers and sellers have arrived at the eleventh hour with virtually no business yet conducted for the week. Look for at least moderate trade volume to surface Friday somewhere between late morning and early afternoon.

FEEDER CATTLE:

Feeder futures closed generally 32 to 162 points higher with front contracts outperforming deferreds. The recent strength in the cash index may be been helpful in that regard. On the other hand, feeders didn't seem to pay much attention to the firming corn trade. CME feeder index 07/11: $147.16, up $2.08.

LEAN HOGS:

Although soon-to-expire July closed only 17 points higher (it goes off the board next Monday, July 16), the rest of the complex finally found a heartbeat and closed sharply higher (i.e., up 110 to 247). Nothing goes down forever, and the market finally shifted into recovery gear Thursday thanks to short-covering and technicians focused on oversold charts. Needless to say, the dead-cat rally offered nothing of technical significance. The carcass value closed slightly lower, with higher fresh cuts offset by softer demand for ribs, picnics, hams and bellies. Pork cut-out: $83.51, off $0.09. CME cash lean index for 07/10: $81.52, off $0.15 (DTN Projected lean index for 07/11: $81.26, off $0.26).

FRIDAY'S CASH HOG CALL:

Steady/weak. Look for hog buyers to wrap up procurement Friday with near-steady bids.

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

(BE)

John Harrington