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Thomas Elwood: Early livestock comments

Agriculture.com Staff 09/22/2010 @ 8:38am

Cattle traded Tuesday afternoon in both Kansas and Nebraska in moderate numbers. Live trade occurred at mostly $98.00, with dressed trade at $154. Trade was mostly steady with last week. There also was additional trade in Texas Tuesday, also at $98.00 live. Volumes are large enough that trade may be largely over for the week.

- The choice cutout was up $0.76 at $157.76 last night, with the select down $1.19 at $149.04. Volume was light. The percentage of cattle grading choice or better has declined in recent weeks, contributing to firmer choice values relative to select. Demand continues to shift away from middle meats towards end cuts as cooler weather comes to much of the country.


HOGS

Cash hog market calls are steady/firm, with some outright higher bids expected in parts of the West. Packers have ramped up the level of weekday slaughter to over 415 thsd head a day. That appears to be a few more hogs than the industry can easily supply; thus the firmer bids.

The pork cutout lost $0.44 last night. Virtually all primals were quoted weak or lower. Bone-in loins were "weak", with the weighted average down over a nickel. Boneless also lost a couple of cents. Butts were quoted steady to a penny lower. Hams continued to lose a little ground as the heavy category was quoted 2 cents lower. Bellies were 2-5 cents lower despite continued tight supplies. BLT season is fading along with demand. Bacon prices in retail stores is at record high prices and foodservice also is beginning to feel the pinch of high prices.

Last night's CME weekly storage report showed an out-movement of 7 thsd lbs compared to an out- movement last year of 1.552 mill lbs. Stocks now total just 2 thsd lbs compared to 24.768 mill lbs last year.

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