There were a few more bids tossed out for consideration Wednesday (i.e., $108 live, $173 dressed), but nothing tempting enough to spark selling interest. Asking prices were around $112-$114 in the South and $178 dressed in the North). According to the closing report, the national hog base is $0.55 lower compared with the Prior Day settlement ($40-$43.50, weighted average $43.87). Corn futures closed fractionally mixed, concluding a session of slow, lackluster business. The stock market closed lower with the Dow off 137 points and the Nasdaq down by 96.
The good news here was that live issues closed 22 to 37 points higher. The bad news was that session highs could not sustain much of a grip with most contracts settling 60-70 under highs of the day. Such caution tells us that many traders remain skeptical of late-summer fundamentals. Beef cut-outs: mixed, up $0.31 (choice: $209.95) to off $0.66 (select: $200.61) with light-to-moderate demand and moderate-to-heavy offerings (59 loads of choice cuts, 51 loads of select cuts, 12 loads of trimmings, 17 loads of ground beef).
THURSDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL:
Steady. Feedlot activity could improve Thursday, yet the country has certainly developed a bad habit this summer of delaying business until Friday.
Feeder bears took a breather Wednesday, allowing contracts to float 12 to 87 lower. The premium status of the cash index was supportive, as was the cooling of the corn trade. CME feeder index 08/14: $150.34, off $0.30.
The debut of spot October turned out to be relatively impressive. Most contracts managed to settle 40 to 112 points higher with December through April gaining on both the front end and the far deferreds. While the premium of the cash index was obviously supportive Wednesday, such potential may be short-lived if the index continues to fall like a lead safe. Carcass value dropped hard again Wednesday, pressured somewhat by all primal values except the picnic. Pork cut-out: $69.74, off $0.06. Cash lean index: 08/13: $56.81, off $1.27 (DTN Projected lean index for 08/14: $55.23, off $1.58).
THURSDAY'S CASH HOG CALL:
$1 lower. Expect hog buyers to resume business in the morning, further exploiting ample late-summer offerings and struggling pork demand.
John A. Harrington can be reached at email@example.com
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