The fact that a few cattle were traded at steady cash Tuesday does provide hope that cash will trade at least steady for the week. Hogs remain the recipients of stronger cash and seasonally strong demand.
Cattle: Steady Futures: Mixed Live Equiv: $244.29 -0.63*
Hogs: Steady Futures: Higher Lean Equiv: $141.66 +0.21**
* based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue.
(The Live Cattle Equiv. Index has been updated to depict recent changes in live cattle weights and grading percentages.)
** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue
Boxed beef exhibited weakness again Tuesday. Yes, choice cutouts were able to close higher by only a penny but considering how the cutout had been gaining for quite some time, that minor gain does not change the direction cutouts seem to be moving.
Select cuts took a beating, declining $2.99. It certainly does appear boxed beef prices may have reached a top. So far, that did not have an impact on the cash market with Northern cattle selling at $190-$191 while the South showed live trade at $119-$120.
The volume of trade was light, which did not provide a good indication of overall business this week, but the fact that initial trades took place at those levels is encouraging. Maybe packers will need to bid no less than steady in order to accomplish business.
More business should surface Wednesday, providing a better idea for the rest of the week.