AFTERNOON LIVESTOCK COMMENTS
John Harrington, DTN Livestock Analyst
GENERAL COMMENTS: Aggressive packer spending surfaced in parts of the North today with light to moderate trade volume evident in Nebraska and Iowa. Most dressed deals were around $257, roughly $10 above last week's weighted average basis Nebraska. Regionals purchased some high-grading cattle as high as $262. Live sales in the South were market at $162, $7 higher than last week. Yet trade volume confirmed in Kansas and Texas was quite light. According to the closing report, the Iowa hog base is $1.18 higher compared with the Prior Day settlement ($122.00-$128.00, weighted average $126.38). Corn futures opened higher but faded through the session to settle a penny or so lower. Equities closed little changed on Thursday with the S&P 500 at another record. The Dow settled 2 points lower with the Nasdaq off 1.
LIVE CATTLE: Futures closed up 5 to 75. Though live contracts finished well below session highs, the trade still closed at record levels. Needless to say, the board was supported by sharply higher feedlot sales as well as further evidence of strong wholesale beef demand. Beef cut-outs: sharply higher (choice, $255.56, up $2.97; select, $252.84, up $4.13) with good demand and light to moderate offerings (88 loads of choice cuts, 41 loads of select, 7 loads of trimmings, 16 loads of ground beef).
FRIDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady/firm with Thursday's full advance. Trade volume totals in the North look no larger than moderate and movement in the South remains quite light. Further cash business is certainly possible Friday, though buyers will at least be require to bid fully steady.
FEEDER CATTLE: Futures closed mixed, up 67 to off 55. The feeder pit closed on a mixed basis tied to conflating efforts of further spec buying and profit taking. CME cash feeder index: 07/23: 212.98, up 2.34.