GENERAL COMMENTS: Cattle buyers limited their efforts Monday to the assessment of new showlists. Ready numbers are larger in all areas, especially Texas and Nebraska. The national hog carcass base closed $0.35 higher ($41.00 to $47.00, weighted average, $45.65). March corn traded lower most of Monday on light volume, ending the final session of 2018 down a half-cent at $3.75. The stock market closed a very volatile December on the right side of the ball with the Dow up 265 points and the Nasdaq positive by 50.
LIVE CATTLE: Live issues closed mixed, up $0.72 to off $0.30 in light volume. Spot December expired at $124.80, finally supported by decent feedlot cash that surfaced late Friday. Beef cut-outs closed significantly higher with the choice box up $0.94 ($215.35) and its select counterpart up by $3.16 ($210.66). Wholesale demand was called "good" with moderate offerings.
WEDNESDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady to $2 higher. The cash cattle market at midweek will be poorly defined with concrete bids and asking prices probably not taking shape until Thursday or Friday.
FEEDER CATTLE: Feeder futures also settled mixed, up $0.72 to off $0.22. Most of the buying interest developed in the far deferreds. CME cash feeder Index for 12/28: $144.64, off $2.62.
LEAN HOGS. For the most part, lean contracts closed moderately higher, up $0.20 to $0.90. Of course the big question as we knock into the new year concerns the adequacy of domestic and export pork demand in the face of record production. Carcass value closed lower, moderately pressured by fresh cuts and hams. The pork cut-out for 12/31 totaled $70.19, off $0.27. (DTN Projected lean index for CME cash lean index for 12/28: NA) CME cash lean index for 12/27: $53.11, off $0.01.
WEDNESDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady. Look for 2019 cash hogs to start out with generally steady bids.