Thomas Elwood: Early livestock comments
Cattle trade may be done for the week if the board continues Wednesday's rally today, though overnight trade was lower. Packers will hold off trying to buy more cattle until they see another opportunity. Asking prices for the cattle left on the lists are up as high as $119.00 this morning.
The choice cutout was down $0.83 at $184.73 last night, with the select down $1.00 at $179.61. Volume was very light again, especially for a Wednesday. End cuts remain under pressure and we are finding more discounting going on in the loin as well. This seems to negate the hopes for a surge in middle meat demand post-Easter.
Cash hog calls are steady to $1.00 lower again this morning. Packer margins were in the red already before last night's hard drop in the cutout. Some sources indicate packers will try to take a couple of dollars off of the national net price paid short term. Unless pork rebounds next week, it may take more than that to put margins right.
The pork cutout lost $2.38 last night. Loins lost 2 cents last night, while butts fell 4-5 cents in continuing poor demand. Bellies contributed to the rout of the cutout as well, losing an additional 3 cents. Bone-in hams were unquoted, with boneless quoted as "weak". We continue to hear bone-in product is in decent shape and about steady. As we have mentioned before, there is increasing talk that the pork and hog market has topped for the year. We certainly can't rule out another run-up this summer as supplies tighten, but the market is seeing at least a significant correction at this point.
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TJE Cash trade information provided by Robin Fuller