Thomas Elwood: Early livestock comments
Kansas saw a small trade at $97.50 Wednesday morning, steady with last week's average. There were only about 3,000 head that traded, and unlike last week, other feedlots did not follow suit and held out for higher money. If futures follow through with last night's firm close, packers likely will be forced to pay higher for cattle this week. Asking prices in Texas are mostly $101.00 live this morning against bids of only $96.00.
- The choice cutout was down $0.92 at $157.35 last night, with the select down $0.36 at $149.14. Spot cut movement jumped back up over 200 loads last night, but it took additional discounting in everything except loins to the meat sold. Even at that, the load count was not that terrific, especially given the slower pace of forward sales in recent weeks. Slaughter is up 11,000 head so far this week, though some speculate that the industry will cut back into the weekend given the poor performance of beef so far.
Cash hog bids are expected to be mostly steady today. We could see some bids up $1.00 according to market sources, but given that it is Thursday, we wonder if this is not the action of one particular packer that often participates in the market this day.
- The pork cutout lost $0.50 last night. Loins were not established last night, but are said to be about steady. Butts were steady. Heavy hams were steady, with middle weight hams steady to a penny lower. Light hams did not trade again and remain almost impossible to find. Bellies were unquoted. Product is said to be available, but prices are holding pretty steady.