Early livestock comments
Showlists are mixed this week, but up slightly overall. Asking prices in the Panhandle are slow to be published; Kansas feedlots are asking $115.00 or better. Asking prices in Nebraska are $4.00 over the June futures. There are no bids yet, and packer inquiry is very light. This is a contrast to the past couple of weeks when packers were putting out bids on Monday. Margins are in the red, and packers will be looking to save money on cattle again this week.
The choice cutout was up $0.05 at $177.20 last night, with the select down $0.23 at $170.25. Volume was the best for a Monday since February. Some buyers probably were taking advantage of recent discounting on middle meats to stock up for Memorial Day. Packers reportedly have come into the week with more than adequate cooler supplies on most items after a larger slaughter last week. The kill is expected to top 650 thsd head again this week.
Hog prices are expected to be about steady today. Although numbers have tightened after active marketings ahead of field work the past couple of weeks, packer margins remain in the red and they are reluctant to chase after hogs. Slaughter is expected to be less than 2 mill head again this week. Monday's kill was down 12,000 head from last week at 383 thsd head.
The pork cutout gained $0.47 last night as loins and butts rebounded after last week's persistent discounting. Loins were 1-4 cents higher, with butts steady to a penny higher. Hams were steady. Bellies were unquoted, but were said to be about steady.
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