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Inability of cash fed cattle to rise to futures trip lead month fed cattle, current hog trading range seems reasonable given perceived demand





DJ Cattle Trading Near Done in South, Waiting to Start in North

Curt Thacker - DJ/ - Jan 31, 2013


--Cash sales in Texas and Kansas midweek at $1.25 a pound, up 3 cents on week


--Wholesale-beef prices just slightly lower Wednesday, may stabilize soon


Cash-cattle trading from Kansas to Texas may be nearly done for the week after light to moderate sales developed there on Wednesday at mostly $1.25 a pound on a live basis, up three cents from a week ago.


The day's trading volumes were estimated around 20,000 in Kansas and about 4,500 in Texas. Some late-day sales may not have been reported yet so the tallies could grow a bit more. There may also be a few additional deals done throughout the day and/or on Friday that could add to the weekly totals.


The cash market in Nebraska has been quiet so far but some trading may develop there during the day. The latest asking prices were at par with February futures on a live basis and mainly around $2.05 a pound for dressed.


Wholesale-choice beef prices Wednesday slipped another 13 cents a hundredweight to $186.76 and select was off eight cents to $181.02 on total sales of 246 loads. The latest choice carcass value was the lowest since Aug. 10 while select was at its lowest since Dec. 28. Some analysts have predicted that, with beef prices at multi-month lows and packers having paid higher prices for cattle in the south this week, the beef market may be poised to stabilize soon or possibly even make a move back up...





Livestock Call By John Otte

Inability of cash fed cattle to rise to futures trip lead month fed cattle, current hog trading range seems reasonable given perceived demand


John Otte - Farm Futures - January 31, 2013



Fed cattle,  higher

Feeder cattle, higher

Lean hogs, steady to higher


Stocks slipped Wednesday after the Federal Reserve reported 2012's fourth quarter U.S. GDP contracted. Investors will seek positive economic data to recover from yesterday's disappointing negative growth news.


Cattle futures generally advanced over night. Hogs held mostly steady.


Cash fed cattle. USDA reported limited trading in the Texas Panhandle Wednesday morning and moderate trading in Kansas on moderate demand. Compared to last week, live sales were $3 higher at $125. Several sellers in the Texas Panhandle continue to pass.  Trading was inactive in all other areas.


Trade talk indicated dressed sales were running $3.50 to $4 higher, compared with a week ago.


A couple hundred cattle sold in Oklahoma at $125. In Nebraska, cattle were offered for sale at par with February futures on a live basis and at $205 dressed.


Wednesday's afternoon boxed Beef cutout values were steady on moderate demand and offerings. Choice slipped 13 cents to $186.76. Select dipped 8 cents to $181.02.


USDA's Ag Market News Service estimated Wednesday's cattle slaughter at 119,000.  The 368,000 total so far this week is down 4,000 from last week, but is up 6,000 from last year.


The latest HedgersEdge packer margin index was minus $27.50 a head compared with minus $23.05 reported the previous day. This is an estimate of packer returns on cattle slaughtered and processed expressed in the form of an index...


Bottom line. Fed cattle futures need stronger cash markets to rally. Cash-strapped consumers need a budget boost to up spending.



Cash hogs. Pork processors quote higher prices for hogs in the western Corn Belt Wednesday and mainly flat in the eastern half of the Midwest.


Moderate to heavy snowfall across central and eastern Iowa, accompanied by brisk winds, caused visibility problems for livestock haulers and others on the roadways there. Some trucks arrived later than had been scheduled. A few loads were canceled or delayed until today. The storm path had little impact on eastern Corn Belt activity.


USDA's afternoon reports showed Wednesday's weighted-average base prices in:


* Iowa-Minnesota rose $2.33 to average $86.79.


* Western Corn Belt climbed $2.77 to average $86.71.


* Eastern Corn Belt hogs rose 67 cents to average $82.11.


Price changes are compared to USDA's afternoon report for Tuesday.


USDA pegs last week's Iowa-southern Minnesota barrow and gilt weights at 275.1 pounds, up 0.2 pound from the previous week, but down 0.4 pound from a year ago.


Rising cash hog prices and retreating cutouts slashed the Dow Jones estimated Wednesday's packer margin to minus $7.50 per head, vs. minus 28 cents on Tuesday.


USDA's Ag Market News Service estimated Wednesday's hog slaughter at 417,000. Slaughter so far this week of 1.244 million is up from 1.222 million last week and up from 1.231 million a year ago. Early projections for Saturday's slaughter are mostly around 90,000 head. The week's total is expected to be near 2.190 million. Packers may still up Saturday's slaughter following a reduction in the estimate for Tuesday to 415,000 and a smaller-than-expected figure for Wednesday at 417,000 head.


The CME two-day lean hog index, calculated using USDA market data, for Tuesday fell 12 cents to $88.30.


After strengthening early in the week, Wednesday's voluntarily reported pork cutout FOB Omaha slid $1.12 to $85.46. Load count totaled 69.


The Final Rule establishing Livestock Mandatory Reporting for wholesale pork became effective on Jan. 7, 2013. Since Jan. 7, 2013, AMS has been publishing the mandatory cutout data a week after they are collected to facilitate the pork industry's transition from voluntary to mandatory pork reporting.


Data collected under Mandatory Reporting for afternoon reports for Wednesday Jan. 23 pegged the:


FOB plant cutout at $88.27


FOB Omaha cutout at $87.74


The Jan. 23 voluntary cutout FOB Omaha was $85.08...


Bottom line. Hogs appear fairly priced at current levels. Wednesday's stronger cash prices and retreating cutouts trimmed packer margins discouraging them from bidding up. Market needs fresh demand news to advance...





DJ Cash-Hog Prices Seen Mostly Flat to Firm

Curt Thacker - DJ/ - Jan 31, 2013


--Packers are buying to fill weekend needs, adding to inventories for next week


--Saturday's slaughter projected from 95,000 to 100,000, still subject to change


--Wholesale-pork prices slip midweek but still up 1.8% from year-ago


The Midwest direct-hog markets Thursday are predicted to be mostly flat to firmer in a few locations as some packers need additional animals to fill their weekend slaughter schedules and all plants will be adding to their inventories for next week.


Transportation of livestock to processing plants was hampered in some areas of the western corn belt on Wednesday due to blowing snow which contributed to a reduced slaughter for the day estimated at 417,000 head.


Cold brisk winds in the northern portions of the western corn belt could limit selling interest for immediate shipment among producers there Thursday. Actual temperatures near zero degrees Fahrenheit and wind gusts of 15 to 25 miles per hour could cause producers to hold off selling for now rather than open the barn doors for loading and allowing the cold air to enter, livestock dealers and market managers said. But forecasts call for moderating temperatures and calmer conditions by the weekend and early next week.


Projections for Saturday's slaughter are from 95,000 to 100,000 head but remain subject to change since some packers that had disruptions either of the past two days may elect to make up at least part of the downtime. Thin to negative processing margins, however, might cause them to stick with their planned work schedules for the weekend rather than add hours.


Wholesale-pork prices on Wednesday fell $1.12 per hundredweight to $85.46 after hitting a 2 1/2-month high on Tuesday. The latest figure is still up 1.8% from a year ago...





DJ U.S. Grain, Soy Futures Ease on End-Of-Month Profit-Taking

DJ/ - Jan 31, 2013


CHICAGO--U.S. grain and soybean futures are trading lower Thursday, easing on end-of-month profit-taking.


Traders are shedding risk, with less-threatening weather outlooks for Argentina crops encouraging traders to reduce exposure in the market, particularly soybeans. The absence of fresh news to affect market fundamentals--with weekly export sales mostly falling in line with analysts' views--is encouraging light selling pressure after recent gains...