CLOSING LIVESTOCK COMMENTS
John Harrington, DTN Analyst
GENERAL COMMENTS: From Friday to Friday, livestock futures scored the following changes: June LC, off 1.05; Aug LC, off 2.22; May FC, off 1.47; Aug FC, off 3.25; June LH, up 1.02; July LH, up .07. Moderate cattle trade developed in Kansas and throughout the North. Live business in Kansas was mostly $125 to $125.50, .50 to $1 lower than last week. Most dressed business in the North was marked at $201 to $202, $1 to $2 lower than last week's weighted average basis Nebraska. According to the closing report, the Iowa hog base closed $0.80 lower compared with the Prior Day settlement ($79.00-$92.00, weighted average $89.43). Corn futures closed mixed, up 11 1/4 and 2 1/4 in July and September, respectively; down 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 in the rest of the contracts.
LIVE CATTLE: Futures closed lower, down 50 to 117. Live cattle futures once again ignored signs of strong seasonal beef demand and closed substantially lower. Selling of spot June accelerated once price action fell below support at $120. Furthermore, the live pit was not encouraged by evidence of large premiums paid in the cash market. The May 1 Cattle on Feed report turned out to be somewhat bearish with April placements totaling more than expected (i.e. 15% greater than last year vs. an average guess of up 12%). Beef cut-outs: mixed, up .74 (choice, $209.51) to off .40 (select, $192.31), with light to moderate demand and light offerings (50 loads of choice cuts, 38 loads of select, 6 loads of trimmings, 15 loads of coarse grinds).
MONDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady to $2 lower. Although packers should remain relatively short-bought early next week, beef demand will start to fade since buying for Memorial Day is probably finished.
FEEDER CATTLE: Futures closed lower, down 112 to 175. Feeder cattle imploded sharply lower with triple-digit losses surfacing from May through next January. Part of the selling was related to nervousness ahead of the Cattle on Feed report. Furthermore, the general lack of commercial buying interest seemed to create a vacuum below Thursday's closes. CME cash feeder index: 05/16: 135.40, up .91.