Activity in the cash cattle trade was typically limited to the distribution of new showlists. Generally speaking, the new offerings look larger (especially in the South) with only Nebraska showing a few more ready steers and heifers. According to the closing report, the national hog base is $1.21 lower compared with the Prior Day settlement ($42-$44.50, weighted average $43.73). Corn futures closed a penny plus lower, checked by follow-through selling and further worries tied to the large August estimate of new-crop yield. The stock market finished lower with the Dow off 125 points and the Nasdaq down by 19.
Pressured by lower feedlot sales on Friday and fears of additional country weakness still waiting in the wings, live cattle futures closed Monday with triple-digit losses scored in the first three issues (i.e, August, October and December). Beef cut-outs: sharply higher, up $1.82 (choice: $208.43) to $1.89 (select: $199.66) with good demand and moderate offerings (51 loads of choice cuts, 26 loads of select cuts, 8 loads of trimmings, 18 loads of ground beef).
TUESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL:
Steady to $1 higher. Look for trade on Tuesday to be typically quiet with bids and asking prices to be poorly defined until Wednesday or later.
Feeders started the week mindful of retreat. Contracts settled 20 to 125 points lower with nearby contracts dropping harder than deferred counterparts. On an estimated run of 7,200 (up from 6,000 last week and 4,001 in 2017), Oklahoma City sold feeder steers and heifers $1-3 lower. Steer and heifers calves were mostly marked $1 lower in a light test. CME feeder index 08/10: $151.12, unch.
Lean hog issues closed on a mixed basis, up 118 points to off 37. The front end was supported by the premium status of the cash index and the simple fact that spot August is scheduled to expire Tuesday at high noon. The pork carcass value closed modestly lower as lower processing items overshadowed strength in loin, picnics and ribs. Pork cut-out: $71.01, off $0.06. CME cash lean index for 08/09: $60.04, off $1.84 (DTN Projected lean index for 08/10: $58.28, off $1.76).
TUESDAY'S CASH HOG CALL:
$1-$2 lower. Hog buyers are expected to keep the pressure on in the morning, further improving processing margins by lowering the cost of live inventory.
John A. Harrington can be reached at email@example.com
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