Thomas Elwood: Early livestock commentary
Showlists are larger in all regions except for Colorado. Asking prices start the week at mostly $96.00
live and $154 dressed. Some Kansas lots are asking only $95.00; Kansas has consistently been the weak-
hand seller this summer. There are no packer bids yet this week and some believe it will be at least
Wednesday before things get going as packers asses the beef situation relative to the prospects for
raising prices. Still, we do look for at least token bids to surface today.
The choice cutout was up $0.62 at $154.14 last night, with the select up $0.38 at $144.76. Spot
volume on select product was about in line with where it has been running, but choice volume was very
strong. Slaughter was down 4,000 head from last Monday and there is speculation that packers may
keep the kill at a little slower pace to support beef prices. Margins have come in fairly hard this week
though they are still black.
Cash hog market calls are called mostly steady, but with firmer undertones. Packers still need a few
hogs for the week despite plans for reduced slaughter this week. A Midwest plant was dark Monday.
One plant in the East will be dark today, and three plants are considering taking down-time on Friday.
Current plans are for only 18,000 head or so on Saturday, so the total for the week could drop to 1.95
mill head. Coincidentally, that is right in line with where we had put the kill this week based on
available hog numbers. It is likely that that larger than expected kill last week pulled a few numbers