CLOSING LIVESTOCK COMMENTS
John Harrington, DTN Livestock Analyst
GENERAL COMMENTS: From Friday to Friday livestock futures scored the following changes: Feb LC, Up 3.93, Apr LC, Up 2.20; Mar FC, Up 4.40; May FC, Up 2.85; Feb LH, Off 1.80: Apr LH, Off 3.25. The cash cattle trade was very slow in developing Friday. In fact, we are still waiting for packer bids to improve enough to generate at least light to moderate trade volume. Late bids are around $161 to $162 in the South and $255 to $256 in the North, still well below asking prices of $164 to $165 in the South and $260 plus in the North. According to the closing report, the Iowa hog base closed $0.38 lower compared with the Prior Day settlement ($51.00-$57.75, weighted average $57.28). Corn futures closed higher Friday, up 4 1/4 in the March and May; up 4 1/2 in the July.
LIVE CATTLE: Futures closed higher, up 77 to 215. Live cattle closed impressively higher with spot February settling at its highest point in nearly a month. Spring and summer contracts seem to have promising double-bottom formations in the making. Having said that, April did encounter significant overhead resistance today at just over $154 (i.e. 38% retracement of the January sell-off). Beef cut-outs: lower (choice, $237.68, off $1.42; select, $233.95, off $1.24) with light to moderate demand and moderate offerings (94 loads of choice cuts, 29 loads of select, 23 loads of trimmings, 41 loads of ground beef).
TUESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady-firm. Activity early next week will be limited to the assessment of showlists. On the other hand, packers could start out quite hungry if they don't manage to secure adequate slaughter supplies late today.
FEEDER CATTLE: Futures closed higher, up 122 to 355. Feeder cattle closed with triple-digit gains, boosted by more attractive targets in terms of deferred live futures. Additionally, nearby feeders were supported by the premium status of the cash index. 02/12 cash index: 211.18, up 0.25.