Light-to-moderate cattle business was reported in several states with most live and dressed deals steady/weak with the midweek decline ($104-$105 live, $164-$166 dressed). According to the closing report, the national hog base is $1.09 lower ($57.50-$64.50, weighted average $62.46). The corn market closed sharply higher (i.e., 12 cents plus) as buyers suddenly responded to nine-month lows. The stock market nailed its fifth straight monthly gain by closed 59 points higher basis the Dow and 60 higher basis the Nasdaq.
Expiring August went down in one final, fiery nosedive (i.e., off 102 points). But the rest of the complex finished no worse than mixed in light trade volume (i.e., up 22 to off 72). New spot October will make its debut on Friday near even par with cash, implying the weakest basis we've seen all summer. Beef cut-outs: modestly higher, up $0.19 (choice, $191.91) to $0.22 (select, $191.34) with light-to-moderate demand and offerings (61 loads of choice cuts, 25 loads of select cuts, 13 loads of trimmings, 16 loads of ground beef).
FRIDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL:
Steady with the Wednesday/Thursday market test. While scattered business is possible Friday in clean-up action, we suspect that most of the week's cash business is already in the bag.
Feeder futures closed 17 to 117 lower with soon-to-be-spot losing ground to both expiring August and deferreds. Some of the selling energy may have been tied to the sudden late-month surge in cattle prices. CME cash feeder index: 08/30: $142.91, off $0.43.
Although lean futures managed to land another round of overdue price recovery, it was one of those late-fading sessions when bulls should have taken the picture around midsession. Contracts closed mostly 65 to 112 points higher, yet as much as 120 below session highs basis spot October. Late-month and pre-holiday short-covering/profit-taking seemed to be the major forces at work here Thursday. The carcass value settled nearly a buck lower with all primals reflecting slower pre-holiday demand. Pork cut-out: $83.58, off $0.97. CME cash lean index for 08/29: $74.59, off $1.09 (DTN Projected lean index for 08/30: $73.52, off $1.09).
FRIDAY'S CASH HOG CALL:
$1-$2 lower. Look for the late-week cash hog trade to remain on the defensive, further pressured by large country offerings and retreating carcass value.