Thomas Elwood: Early livestock comments
Kansas saw light trade Thursday at $123.00 live and $195 dressed, at the top end of the trading range from Wednesday. Not enough numbers traded in Texas and Nebraska to call a market, but sales were generally at the upper end of the week's ranges. Trade is expected to be very quiet today. Feedlots will be asking at least $122.00 live in the south.
The choice cutout was up $0.23 at $188.41 last night, with the select down $0.31 at $185.22. Spot trade volume surged Thursday as buyers tried to get ahead of expected increases in asking prices next week. Choice ribs and chucks lost a bit of ground, but loins were firm. Radiation levels above the legal limits were found in beef from Fukushima, and this may make imported beef more attractive to Japanese consumers. Australia will have a little bit of an advantage since they do not have any history of BSE, but we expect the US to see a boost in demand as well. Weekly exports have continued to run well over last year.
Early hog calls are mostly steady this morning. Margins have come in during the week and packers are being less aggressive about bidding for next week's hogs. Saturday's slaughter is expected to be about 60,000 head.
The pork cutout gained $0.61 last night. Loins were steady to a penny lower last night in continued dull demand. Butts were mostly a penny higher. We would not be surprised to see a surge in demand from Japan going into the summer since radioactivity above legal limits has been found in beef from the Fukushima region. This could translate in to a fear of any protein produced in the area. Hams were steady. Bellies were unquoted, and product remains very snug.
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TJE Cash trade information provided by Robin Fuller