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Early livestock commentary-Robin Fuller

Agriculture.com Staff 06/24/2011 @ 8:03am

Cattle traded in Nebraska Thursday at mostly $178 dressed to major packers, with some at $180 to regional packers. Live trade came in a range of $111.00 to $114.00, though most cattle traded at $112.00. Bids in the south are still no better than $109.00. Trade is expected some time today, with the futures action largely dictating the action.

The choice cutout was up $0.49 at $178.46 last night, with the select up $0.28 at $173.29. Volume continues to fade as buyers back away from the sharp increase in pricing. Packers run a serious risk of shutting down August features with the latest run-up in cattle and beef prices.

Hog calls are steady/mixed this morning. Packers are still attempting to save money now that margins are deeply in the red. Slaughter was down 9 thsd head Thursday from last week. An extra plant will be dark today, further reducing slaughter for the week.

The pork cutout gained $2.36 last night to close at a new record high for this calculation series. The previous record was set on May 16th of this year. Loins were quoted firm. Butts lost 1-2 cents on buyer resistance. Bellies were quoted 6 cents higher on production declines.

Light hams are quoted at 80 cents, catching up with the earlier moves in the heavier weights.

This afternoon's Hogs and Pigs Report is expected to show that hog producers have put the brakes on expansion, with a few analysts looking for a little liquidation to have begun already. Estimates on the breeding herd range from 100.8% of last year to 99.0%; the average is 100.1%. Market hog numbers are expected to be unchanged, with estimates ranging 99.7% to 100.5% of last year. Expectations are that farrowing intentions will be smaller than last year.

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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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