MORNING LIVESTOCK COMMENTS
John Harrignton, DTN Livestock Analyst
GENERAL COMMENTS: Light cattle trading surfaced in parts of the North with some live sales at $159-$160 (versus last week's weighted average of $162.50 basis Nebraska) and scattered dressed deals at $256 (i.e., about $7 lower). According to the closing report, the Iowa hog base closed $2.03 lower compared with the Prior Day settlement ($62.00-$71.00, weighted average $68.73). The corn market 2-3 cents higher, ignoring weakness in the bean pit and supported somewhat by a lack of farmer selling. Equities rose after switching direction multiple times during the session. The Dow finished 3 points higher with the Nasdaq better by 20.
LIVE CATTLE: Futures closed off 135 to 187. The best you can say here is "it coulda been worse." Most contracts did manage to catch a decent bounce off session lows. Still this slight recovery wasn't enough to erase the fact that most months settle at new four-month lows. Beef cut-outs: significantly lower (choice, $258.24, off $1.18; select, $248.83, off $1.02) with light demand and light to moderate offerings (77 loads of choice cuts, 48 loads of select, 9 loads of trimmings, 27 loads of ground beef).
WEDNESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: $2-$3 lower than last week. Short-bought packers may show better inquiry at midweek, but probably not better bids. Significant trade volume could easily be delayed until Thursday or Friday.
FEEDER CATTLE: Futures closed mostly 192 to 237 lower. Supported somewhat by the cash premium, spot January closed 37 points higher. Yet most of the pit got slammed along with their live counterparts. As summer live futures dip into the mid-140s, commercial buying interest for feeders can't backpedal fast enough. 01/19 cash index: 221.87, off 2.26.