Thomas Elwood: Early livestock comments
Cattle traded actively in Kansas and Nebraska Thursday, but Texas has yet to pull the trigger on the $101.00 bids. Volume in Kansas at $101.00 was substantial, and Nebraska also moved quite a few cattle at $100.00-$101.50 and $160 dressed. Prices were down $2-$3 from last week. Texas feedlots have dropped asking prices to $103.00-$104.00, but likely would take $102.00 if packers would bid it. Trade is expected some time this morning. Whether feedlots in the Panhandle are successful in getting the $102.00 depends on the futures action.
The choice cutout was down $1.34 at $163.53 last night, with the select down $0.55 at $153.62. Volume was better than last Thursday, but still not that great when compared against another week of big production. Both choice and select ribs took a big hit last night, and choice loins were discounted as well. Middle meats have so far not picked up the slack. In fact choice chucks and rounds both lost ground. Select end cuts faired a bit better and gained a little in value. That accounts for the smaller loss in value on the select cutout overall.
Cash hog calls are mostly steady this morning. There is once again talk of some firmness in bids on hogs for next week's slaughter. Although this week's Saturday slaughter will be reduced, next Saturday should be in the 200 thsd head area to help make up for the short fall Christmas week when the kill will be even lighter than usual due to the holiday being on a Saturday.
The pork cutout gained $0.35 last night. Smaller production this week has finally cleaned up fresh cut supplies and both loins and butts gained more ground last night.
Loins were quoted 1 cent higher, with butts once again 1-3 cents higher. Heavy hams held steady last night, but middle weight hams lost 4 cents. Bellies were unquoted. This market is said to be steady with supplies in balance with processing and storage demand.