Thomas Elwood: Early livestock commentary
Cattle trade developed at $97.00 live on Wednesday in Texas and Kansas, down $1.00 from the bulk of last week. Trade was fairly active, with volume good. Trade in Nebraska came at mostly $97.00 live as well, with dressed cattle trading at mostly $153. Both prices were down about $0.50 from last week. There could be some clean-up trade today, but we think most packers and feedlots are fairly well satisfied at this point.
The choice cutout was down $0.91 at $156.71 last night, with the select down $0.82 at $148.36. Volume was quite light for a Wednesday. Loins continued under heavy pressure. Rib cuts were mixed. End cuts remain generally well supported on seasonal demand.
Cash hog market calls are mostly $0.50 to $1.00 lower again this morning. Hogs are gaining weight very fast with new crop corn in the feed bunks and cooler temperatures. The reduction in slaughter this week has given packers the upper hand, while weakness in the cutout is encouraging them to reduce bids.
The pork cutout lost $0.13 last night. Fresh pork was quoted as "mostly steady", though we noted an increase in the weighted averages on both bone-in and boneless loins. Butts eased a little lower on the weighted average despite reports of improved export interest. Heavy hams were quoted steady to a penny lower, with middle weight hams steady. Bellies were quoted 5 cents lower.