AFTERNOON LIVESTOCK COMMENTS
John Harrington, DTN Livestock Analyst
GENERAL COMMENTS: Activity in cattle country was limited to the distribution of new showlists. Ready numbers appear to be generally smaller with only Texas offering more slaughter steers and heifers. A few asking prices were suggested around $158-plus in the South and $248 to $250 in the North. According to the closing report, the Iowa hog base is .72 higher compared with the Prior Day settlement ($86.00-$94.00, weighted average $93.31). The corn market drifted generally 1-3 cents thanks to a lack of news and the path of least resistance. The stock market closed mostly lower as energy companies dropped along with the price of oil and investors fretted whether the European Central Bank would make further monetary policy moves this week. The Dow closed 30 points lower with the Nasdaq up 17.
LIVE CATTLE: Futures closed up 90 to 157. Inspired by aggressive packer spending in feedlot country on Friday, live contracts gapped higher on the opening and gathered bullish speed from there. New spot October exploded to its highest point traded since August 7 before profit-taking caused it to settle 138 below the session's high water mark. Beef cut-outs: moderately lower (choice, $246.11, off .19; select, $233.83, off .56) with light to moderate demand and moderate offerings (98 loads of choice cuts, 64 loads of select, 22 loads of trimmings, 28 loads of ground beef).
WEDNESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady to $2 higher. Given the week's staggered start, preliminary packer bids could surface as early as today. Yet significant trade volume will probably be postponed until Thursday or Friday.
FEEDER CATTLE: Futures closed up 160 to 300. Feeders followed the bullish lead of the live pit, further supported by lower corn prices and the premium of the cash index. CME cash feeder index: 08/29: 221.07, up 2.30.