The cash cattle trade was typically quiet for a Monday as packers focused exclusively on the collection of new showlists. The midmonth offering looks mixed, smaller in Texas and larger in Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. Overall, ready numbers appear to be about steady with last week. According to the closing report, the national hog base is $1.18 lower compared with the prior day settlement ($66.00 to $74.00, weighted average $73.08). Corn futures finished 1/2 cent to 2 cents higher with deferreds outperforming nearbys. The stock market closed mixed with the Dow up 44 and the Nasdaq off by 20.
Inspired in part by the premium status of feedlot cash seen on Friday, live contracts closed sharply higher, up 75 to 237. Beef cut-outs: moderately lower, off $.38 (choice: $203.76) to $.70 (select: $195.67) with light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings (68 loads of choice cuts, 22 loads of select cuts, eight loads of trimmings, 15 loads of ground beef).
TUESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL:
Steady. Depending how short bought packers find themselves, trade volume could develop earlier than normal this week, but probably not until Wednesday at the earliest.
Following the positive lead of live cattle, feeder futures also closed substantially higher (i.e., up 45 to 165). August through November led the early week charge with triple-digit gains. On an estimated run of 6,250 head (down from 8,001 last week and up from 5,420 on 2017), Oklahoma City sold feeder steers mostly $2 to $4 lower, while heifer mates weighing 600 to 750 pounds were marked $1 to $2 higher. CME feeder index 07/13: $148.27, up $.11.
Lean issues loss another 15 to 130 points to start the week with fourth quarter contracts catching the worse of the selling heat. Spot July expired at $79.75, $.20 lower. Note that August will assume spot status in the morning no less than $11.14 under the most recent cash index. Carcass value closed moderately lower with lower loins and bellies overshadowing stronger ribs, picnics and butts. Pork cut-out: $83.37, off $.45. CME cash lean index for 07/12: $80.91, off $.35 (DTN Projected lean index for 07/13: $80.34, off $.57).
TUESDAY'S CASH HOG CALL:
Steady to $1 lower. Look for hog buyers to remain on the defensive in the morning, working hard to improve margins even as carcass value drifts lower.
John A. Harrington can be reached at email@example.com
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