Thomas Elwood: Early livestock comments
Showlists smaller this week thanks primarily to a big drop in the Texas list. Some reports also have available Nebraska numbers smaller as well, though others have them as unchanged. Asking prices start the week at $99.00-$100.00 live and $156 dressed. We have found a few scattered bids in Kansas at $96.00, but otherwise packer inquiry is fairly light. The stronger close on futures last night and the bullish crop report this morning should keep feedlot attitudes firm this week.
The choice cutout was up $0.45 at $159.01 last night, with the select down $0.78 at $149.42. Movement picked up Monday, with the daily total on cuts the best since the end of September. Slaughter was up 6,000 head from last week, which seems to indicate a bump in production this week; however, most sources expect slaughter to be not much better than last week. It could be that we will see a reduction later in the week that will bring the weekly total back close to last week.
Cash hog bids are expected to be mostly steady today. There are expectations for some lower bids as well as some higher bids in some areas depending on whether packers are still putting together Saturday numbers.
The pork cutout lost $1.24 last night. Loins were quoted steady. Butts did back away from some of their early gains during the day, but still ended mostly a penny higher. We hear the decline in the dollar recently has spurred some export demand for butts. Hams were steady. Bellies were not tested, but some sources indicate they had a softer tone last night.