Thomas Elwood: Early livestock commentary
Showlists are mixed, but unchanged overall. Areas with increased numbers on the lists report the
bigger list is due to hopes of high prices rather than a genuine need to put the cattle on the list. Cattle
are quite green at this point. Asking prices are all over the board this week. While Kansas and
Nebraska seem to be fairly consistent in asking $102 live and $162 dressed, asking prices in Texas range
all the way up to $104 live. Some feedlots are not even pricing cattle, and want the packer to come to
them. As far as packers go, they are laying low for the moment. We have not yet found any bids and it
may be Wednesday before we do.
- The choice cutout was up $1.16 at $162.93 last night, with the select up $1.45 at $156.08. Volume was
limited even for a Monday. Retail clearance over the weekend was rated just moderate. Retail buyers
remain relatively short bought, however, and export demand is strong according to industry sources.
That is reportedly enough to keep packer inventories fairly clean for the moment despite increased
production over the past couple of weeks.
Cash hog market calls are steady/weak this morning, with some bids once again as much as $1.00
lower. Hog runs have picked up and most packers are already done buying for this week despite a jump
in slaughter to the 2.1 mill head level.
The pork cutout gained $0.18 last night. Loins were quoted steady. Butts were 3 cents lower on
increased availability with the rising production. Hams were quoted a penny higher on strong export
demand. Bellies were steady.