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Thomas Elwood: Early livestock commentary

Agriculture.com Staff 08/17/2010 @ 8:53am

Showlists are just a little smaller this week after very active sales last week.   Feedlots are extremely 

current and have better bargaining power.  Asking prices start the week higher, at $97.00 live in the 

south and $98.00 live/$155 dressed in the north.  We have not found any bids yet, but expect packers to 

put out at least token bids today in some areas.  Given the upward trend in beef prices and strong packer 

margins, we expect cattle to trade higher again this week. 

The choice cutout was up $1.06 at $155.62 last night, with the select up $1.22 at $148.53. Rib cuts and 

end cuts were sought after and carried the cutouts sharply higher.  Loins were mixed.   

Volume for the week was a little smaller than last Monday, but still strong from an historical standpoint.  

Buyers are very active in acquiring product ahead of Labor Day.  Additional advances in prices are 

expected today. 


HOGS

Cash hog market calls are steady to higher this morning after a strong jump in fresh pork values 

overnight.  While many packers have all the hogs they need, a significant minority still need hogs.  

 Slaughter is expected to be in the 2.05 mill head range again this week. 

The pork cutout gained $1.23 last night. Bone-in loins were quoted a penny higher, with boneless up 

about 5 cents on the average.  Butts were 1-2 higher, and ribs jumped 3.5 cents on last minute Labor 

Day demand.  Bellies were steady to as much as 6 cents lower as larger production continues to ease the 

supply situation.  Light weight hams traded steady, with heavier weights unquoted.  Weaker undertones 

were noted by some traders.   

Mexico announced it is putting duties on pork imports from the U.S. as a part of the ongoing dispute 

over cross-boarder trucking.  The duties are expected to be published in the next few days.  This could 

hurt ham demand since Mexico is a major buyer of heavy bone-in hams. 


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