GENERAL COMMENTS: Though this week's just getting started, the cash cattle picture looks steady to higher than last week's, with live bids at $112 to $113 and dressed bids at $184 to $186. Offers are $114 live and $188 dressed. According to the closing report, the national hog base was $0.37 higher ($58.00-$71.50, weighted average $68.45). Corn futures closed 13 1/4 cents lower, giving back Friday's gains. The stock market stayed near its new record high and closed the day slightly higher, up less than a point on the S&P 500.
LIVE CATTLE: It was another day of relatively quiet, mixed results for live cattle futures, with the August contract closing $0.025 higher and the October contract closing $0.20 lower. There has been a steady churn of higher prices coming off this market's late-June low, with futures contracts now more than $6 above that level. Last week's stronger performance in cash cattle trade, plus the anticipation of a Cattle on Feed report coming this Friday, may sustain the upward bias in futures trade. Beef cutouts: mixed, up $0.47 for choice at $213.27 but down $0.39 for select at $189.21, with light to moderate demand and heavy offerings.
TUESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady to $2 higher. Packer margins remain favorable, and sellers may feel emboldened to keep their offers firm above last week's prices -- $113 live, $182 dressed.
FEEDER CATTLE: Feeder cattle futures contracts tested both sides of unchanged through Monday's session, ultimately closing with barely perceptible gains: up $0.05 in the August and September contracts. The weekly Crop Progress report confirmed the 2019 crop of feed grains is still struggling. Corn progress remains behind pace (only 17%t silking) and poorly rated in historical terms (only 58% good or excellent). CME cash feeder index for 7/11 was $141.08, up $1.49.
LEAN HOGS: Although the August lean hog contract continues to swing up or down depending on the day, more deferred contracts put in a more decisive performance Monday, continuing this market's recovery. Gains were noted ranging from $0.675 in the October to $1.425 in the February. The July contract goes off the board after Monday. Pork cut-out: $72.90, up $1.25. Belly prices were back up above $100 per cwt after another wild daily swing in value. CME cash lean index for 07/11 $70.73, down $0.08 (DTN Projected lean index for 07/12 $70.73, unchanged).
TUESDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady to $1 higher. A dip in slaughter numbers (410,000 Monday) and seasonally lighter hogs may relieve some of the pressure from this market.
Elaine Kub can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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