Some cattle bids improved a bit late in the day (i.e., $107 live), but that's as close as the country got to doing any business. Asking prices remained firm at $111 to $112 in the South and $175 plus in the North. According to the closing report, the national hog base is $.12 lower compared with the prior day settlement ($33.00-$37.00, weighted average $36.70). Corn futures settled fractionally mixed at the conclusion of a session of listless trading. The stock market closed lower with the Dow off 137 points and the Nasdaq down by 21 points.
Live contracts closed moderately higher, up 55 to 75. Given this late summer stability, many traders must feel confident about the firm tone of post Labor Day beef demand. Beef cut-outs: significantly lower, off $.95 (choice: $211.73) to $1.34 (select: $202.21) with light demand and offerings (52 loads of choice cuts, 26 loads of select cuts, 12 loads of trimmings, 13 loads of ground beef).
FRIDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL:
Steady. It will be now or never sometime Friday. We would think buyers and sellers would love to hit the holiday highway, but we've been saying that all week.
Feeders managed a decent recovery with pricing settling 15 to 100 higher. Advancing strength in the live market appeared to be a decent motivating factor. While green ink is always good to see, nothing really changed of technical significance. CME feeder index 08/29: $150.09, off $.14.
Lean hog futures closed lower Thursday (i.e., off 37 to 242 points) with particular selling pressure evident on nearby October and December. Spot October closed under 50 for the first time since August 8. Carcass value closed sharply higher, jazzed by stronger demand for fresh cuts and a $9.54 pop in the belly primal. Pork cut-out: $66.75, up $2.07. Cash lean index: 08/28: $46.45, off $.64 (DTN Projected lean index for 08/29: $45.85, off $.60).
FRIDAY'S CASH HOG CALL:
Steady. Hog buyers should finish their pre-holiday procurement chores Friday morning with basically steady bids.
John A. Harrington can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
© Copyright 2018 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.