Thomas Elwood: Early livestock commentary
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
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.