CLOSING LIVESTOCK COMMENTS
John Harrington, DTN Livestock Analyst
GENERAL COMMENTS: Light to moderate trading developed on a sporadic basis in most areas of cattle feeding country. Live sales in the South were marked at $145-$146, $1-$2 lower. Dressed deals in the North for delivery within two weeks were mostly tagged $237-$238, $2-$3 lower than last week's weighted average basis Nebraska. Some Nebraska cattle to be delivered in more than two weeks sold as low as $232. According to the closing report, the Iowa hog base is $0.50 higher compared with the Prior Day settlement ($112.00-$117.00, weighted average $115.69). Corn futures settled 2-3 cents lower, checked by follow-through selling and lackluster buying interest. For the most part, the stock market climbed on Thursday, with the S&P 500 extending gains into a fourth session. The Dow closed off 16 points with the Nasdaq up 9.
LIVE CATTLE: Futures closed off 35 to 155. The live pit closed significantly lower with nearby contracts catching most of the pre-holiday heat. Scattered evidence of softer feedlot sales proved to be a negative force, as did ideas of seasonal bearishness as we move toward the late spring and early summer. Finally, contracts no doubt suffered from a generally lack of buying interest ahead of the long weekend. Beef cut-outs: significantly higher (choice, $225.88, up $2.13; select, $214.43, up $0.96) with moderate demand and light to moderate offerings (85 loads of choice cuts, 47 loads of select, 18 loads of trimmings, 35 loads of ground beef).
FRIDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady with Thursday's softness. While a few odds and ends could trade Friday, cash business seems pretty much done for the week (despite relatively small trade volume totals).
FEEDER CATTLE: Futures closed off 25 to 185. Feeder futures mirrored the negative action in the live pit. Highs set earlier this week seemed to attract both commercial selling and spec profit taking in the light of uncertain growing crop conditions ahead, the discount of deferred live issues, and dry, early spring pasture conditions (especially in the South). CME cash feeder index: 04/16: 178.95, off $0.68.