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Early livestock commentary

Agriculture.com Staff 05/03/2011 @ 8:04am

Showlists are mixed this week, but close enough to unchanged overall as to not make much difference. Asking prices start the week at $118.00 live in the south and $4.00 over the June futures in the north. Packers, on the other hand, have opened with bids of just $114.00 in parts of Kansas and the Panhandle. Clearly they intend to save money on cattle again this week.

The choice cutout was down $0.27 at $181.79 last night, with the select up $0.32 at $176.38. Volume was quite limited after mediocre retail clearance over the past weekend limited fill-in buying. Consumers are under some financial stress as gas prices rise, and are switching their purchases to cheaper alternatives. We hear that even hamburger purchases were disappointing. Forward sales in the domestic market also continued to sag, even after discounting last week. Export sales, on the other hand, remained robust.

HOGS

Cash hog calls are steady to lower again this morning. Hogs are coming very easily as producers try to get ahead on marketings before field work beings in earnest. Packer margins remain in the red, limiting interest on that front.

The pork cutout lost $0.88 last night. Bellies were quoted 5 cents lower. Loins were quoted as "weak" by the USDA. Butts were weak for quick ship, but there is much better interest out front, and the weighted average gained a penny on higher prices for later shipping times. Hams were unquoted, but are said to be in good shape. We expect a higher quote at some point short term.

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This commentary is written by Robin Fuller. For more information or trading ideas about this market, Please contact us at (312)896- 2001 or email us at sales@linngroup.com.

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