Cattle buyers and sellers continue to take their own sweet time deciding on the appropriate value of ready steers and heifers. It's late Friday and there's still a wide gulf between many bids ($112 to $183) and asking prices ($119 to $120 to $187-plus). A few pens in the North have been marked at $116 on a live basis. Furthermore, some Southern bids have improved to $117. At this sluggish rate, a good assessment of country movement may not be available until Monday morning. According to the closing report, the national hog base is $0.50 higher compared with the prior day settlement ($45.00 to $50.74, weighted average $50.03). Nearby corn closed up 4 1/2 cents, partially supported on the final day of November by news that only two delivery intentions were announced for December, a hopeful sign that the market is not eager to let go of corn at these prices. From Friday to Friday, livestock futures scored the following changes: Dec LC, off $0.18; Feb LC, off $0.42; Jan FC, off $4.15; Mar FC, off $3.07; Dec LH, off $1.20; Feb LH, off $0.27. Cheered by potential U.S./China trade talk, the stock market closed the month with another bullish punch: the Dow settled 199 points higher and the Nasdaq finished 57 in the green.
Prices here settled mixed, up $0.32 to off $0.17, with nearbys outperforming some deferreds. Most live issues traded lower through midday before recovering some of those losses in the final minutes of the session, with some possibly sensing that short-bought packers would eventually have to reach deeper in their wallets. Beef cut-outs closed mixed with the choice unchanged ($212.61) and select off $0.12 ($198.41). Box demand was called moderate demand and offering.
MONDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL:
Steady. Early biz on Monday will be limited to the distribution of new showlists. The initial December offering could be some larger depending on how late, late business this week shapes up to be.
Feeder contracts finished the month off $0.70 to $0.82, The front-end seemed to attract bear spreaders with January through April attracting most of the selling pressure. The impressive rally in the corn market was clearly a negative factor. CME cash feeder Index for 11/29: $147.13, down $0.34.
Lean hog issues closed the week and month with mixed prices, up $0.45 to off $0.85. Consistent trends were difficult to identify. Spot December seemed particularly pressured by the discount of the cash index. Carcass values advanced moderately higher, boosted by bellies, picnics and ham. The cut-out totaled $69.12, up $0.68. (DTN Projected lean index for CME cash lean index for 11/29: $56.42, off $0.14) CME cash lean index for 11/28: $56.56, off $0.28.
MONDAY'S CASH HOG CALL:
Steady/firm. Look for pork processors to resume the collection of market hogs on Monday with steady/firm bids.