Rick Kment, DTN Market Analyst
GENERAL COMMENTS: According to the closing report, the Iowa hog base compared with the Prior Day's closing weighted average is $2.22 higher ($103.50 to $113.00, weighted average $110.45). Corn futures closed higher, up 6 cents in the March and up 5 in the May. December futures closed up 3 1/4.
LIVE CATTLE: Futures closed mostly 30 to 52 lower. Spot April was up 7. Following a session of back-and-forth movement in most contracts, live cattle futures settled mostly lower. April futures were able to sustain a 27-cent gain at closing bell, although all other nearby contracts slipped 10 to 30 cents per cwt lower. Lack of direction in the cash markets left rising boxed beef values unable to gain additional support Tuesday. Outside markets are expected to be closely followed through midweek as traders try to find additional reasons to step into the cattle complex. Beef cut-outs: sharply higher (choice, $241.47, up $2.57; select, $237.71, up $1.72) with moderate to fairly good demand and light offerings (57 loads of choice cuts, 22 loads of select, 7 loads of trimmings, 21 loads of ground beef).
WEDNESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady to $1 higher. The pressure in live cattle futures Tuesday will have very little effect on cash markets due to the ability of the April contract to post light gains. Feeders remain hard to pin down early in the week about asking prices, although at this point, bids are unavailable. Both sides continue to look for direction from market fundamentals and outside market shifts before stepping too close to the market.
FEEDER CATTLE: Futures closed mostly 15 to 30 lower. Spot March was up 22. Buyer support in the feeder cattle futures seemed to quickly run out of gas following declines in live cattle futures through most of the session. The renewed buyer interest in the grain markets and 5- to 6-cent per bushel rally across nearby corn markets created some added uncertainty. Although supplies continue to remain tight, there are growing fears that if further live cattle market losses are logged, recent support would quickly unravel. CME cash feeder index: 03/10: 173.56, up 0.22.