Thomas Elwood: Early livestock commentary
Showlists are smaller everywhere but Texas this week; available numbers are down overall. Feedlots are generally asking $100.00 live in the south. Some lots in Kansas started out the week at $99.00, but most seemed to have gone to $100.00 by last night. Asking prices in Nebraska start the week at $99.00 live and $157 dressed. There are no packer bids yet, though we could see some surface today.
The choice cutout was unchanged at $159.42 Friday night, with the select up $0.19 at $153.44. Volume was moderate for a Monday. Middle meats continued to lose ground as consumers do less grilling.
Chucks bounced, though rounds continued under moderate pressure.
There are concerns that a big slaughter this week will put more beef on the market than it can absorb.
Cash hog market calls are steady to lower again this morning. Hogs are coming very easily as weights and numbers increase with the cooler weather. Saturday's slaughter is still somewhat flexible, but is currently estimated around 85,000 head. If packers follow through with the more aggressive weekday slaughter from Monday, it appears the kill will easily top 2.15 mill head this week.
The pork cutout gained $1.42 last night despite persistent weakness in fresh pork. Packers are planning a fairly aggressive slaughter pace this week and that will putt quite a bit more pork into the pipelines by this weekend. Loins were quoted down 3 cents, with butts steady to 5 cents lower. Hams were steady to a penny higher depending on the weight group. Bellies were unquoted.
Russia is saying it may be self sufficient in pork and poultry production before the 2013 deadline set by the government. If so, this will negatively impact pork and poultry exports from the U.S longer term.
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Cash trade information provided by Robin Fuller