AFTERNOON LIVESTOCK COMMENTS
John Harrington, DTN Livestock Analyst
GENERAL COMMENTS: Activity in cattle feeding country was limited to the distribution of new showlists. The offering of ready steers and heifers appears to be generally larger with only Texas showing more cattle. Preliminary asking prices are around $161-$162 in the South and $250 to $252-plus in the North. According to the closing report, the Iowa hog base 0.46 lower compared with the Prior Day settlement ($100.00-$109.00, weighted average $108.44). The corn market bounced 2-3 cents higher, supported by short covering and early week strength in the bean pit. U.S. stocks closed down on Monday despite encouraging economic data as the Hong Kong protests weighed on global markets. The Dow closed 41 points lower with the Nasdaq off 6.
LIVE CATTLE: Futures closed up 35 to 250. Live contracts momentarily open lower, perhaps pressured by profit taking and spillover selling from the lean hog pit. Yet bullish enthusiasm (which caused the most live issues to lock limit up on Friday) quickly resurfaced to send nearby months sharply higher. It turned out to be a historically strong performance with most contracts finishing with new all-time highs. Beef cut-outs: significantly higher (choice, $238.02, up $0.36; select, $226.83, up $1.35) with moderate to fairly demand and moderate to heavy offerings (81 loads of choice cuts, 57 loads of select, 16 loads of trimmings, 18 loads of ground beef).
TUESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady to $2 higher. While cash action is likely to be typically slow on Tuesday, most packers are thought to be extremely short bought. Furthermore, early week board action will no doubt work to reinforce higher asking prices in all feeding areas.
FEEDER CATTLE: Futures closed up 160 to 290. The feeder pit started the week with an expressive price explosion, one that also rocked contracts to never-seen-before highs. On an estimated run of 6,700 head (down from 7,254 last week and 7,435 in 2013), Oklahoma City sold steers and heifers steady to $2 higher. 09/26 cash index: 233.44, up 2.96.