Triple-digit gains in live cattle trade Tuesday helped to push October live cattle back to $100 per cwt. Support also developed in lean hog futures, helping put distance from long-term lows.
Optimism was seen across livestock trade Tuesday afternoon with all markets posting triple-digit gains at one point or another during the session. The ability of live cattle futures to hang onto gains helped to stimulate additional buying across the complex at the end of the day. Cash cattle activity remains at a standstill with no evidence of packers showing bids at this point. The recent sharp gains in boxed beef values should push the limits of plant production and stimulate additional cash buying.
So far, asking prices are holding at $109 per cwt in the South and $178 in the North, but only a few bids have been reported by Tuesday afternoon with many other feedlot managers waiting to see what shakes out from the recent futures market rally. Active trade is expected to be delayed until the second half of the week, potentially until Friday.
The National Daily Direct afternoon hog report was $0.60 lower ($58 to $72.50, weighted average $69.18) on 14,715 head sold.
Corn futures continued to weaken on ideas that production may not be as weak as previously thought. September corn closed 5 1/2 cents lower. Stock markets were lower in light trade with the Dow 106 points lower and the NASDAQ down 39 points.