DTN Livestock Open: Cattle Traders Wait for Determination of Packer Spending

Live and feeder futures seem staged to open mixed thanks to a slow and cautious combination of short-covering and cash monitoring. Lean hog issues should also open with uneven price action as traders puzzle over the ability of late-year pork demand to handle record tonnage.

Cattle: Steady-$1 HR Futures: Mixed Live Equiv: $139.37 + .12*
Hogs: Steady Futures: Mixed Lean Equiv: $ 76.94 + .42**
* based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue
** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue

GENERAL COMMENTS:

If it’s Friday, it must be time to trade cattle. At least that’s the schedule we’ve followed for a large part of the fourth quarter. The big question is just “how big” the gulf between bids (e.g., $112 to $114 in the South) and asking prices ($120 in the South) will be. Live and feeder futures are set to open on a mixed basis as buyers and sellers jockey around late-week cash prospects.

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