AFTERNOON LIVESTOCK COMMENTS
John Harrington, DTN Livestock Analyst
GENERAL COMMENTS: Feedlot country was typically quiet in starting the week with activity limited to the distribution of new showlists. The midmonth offering appears to be generally steady with the previous week (i.e., numbers are some smaller in the South, some larger in the North). Preliminary asking prices appear to be around $164 in the South and $255-plus in the North. According to the closing report, the Iowa hog base was $0.76 higher compared with the Prior Day settlement ($94-$104.50, weighted average 103.74). The corn market bounced 4 cents higher Monday, supported by short covering and suggestions that the estimate of planted acres may eventually be revised lower. The stock market closed with technology shares slammed ahead of Alibaba's planned debut later in the week. The Dow closed up 43 points with the Nasdaq off 48.
LIVE CATTLE: Futures closed mixed, up 30 to off 50. At the conclusion of a rather choppy session, the live pit ended with mixed prices (though more months settled some higher than lower). The churning seemed to stem from light trade volume and a generally poor sense of price direction. Traders seemed to go back and forth with arguments of technical defensiveness and the persistence of cash premiums. Beef cut-outs: significantly lower (choice, $249.02, off $0.91; select, $233.28, off $1.26) with light to moderate demand and moderate offerings (60 loads of choice cuts, 51 loads of select, 15 loads of trimmings, 22 loads of ground beef).
TUESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady. Look for a typical do-nothing Tuesday with both bids and asking prices remaining poorly defined.
FEEDER CATTLE: Futures closed mixed, up 22 to off 22. The action here was rather lackluster, checked somewhat by profit taking following Friday's rally. Note that all contracts are now well below the cash index. On an estimated run of 8,100 head (down from 9,886 last week but up from 6,951 in 2013), Oklahoma City sold steers and heifers on a steady/firm basis with demand described as "very good" for all classes. 09/12 cash index: 230.04, up 2.30.