Chicago Mercantile Exchange hogs settled weaker Tuesday (August 18) on sell stops, loss of chart support after initial buying interest dried up and October/December bear spreads. Pork bellies ended higher on follow-through buying, late-Tuesday's steady cash belly price and buy stops. CME live cattle closed higher on fund buying, short covering and buy stops. Feeder cattle ended higher on short covering, a rally in live cattle and buy stops.
Plains states fed-cattle markets remained very quiet Tuesday morning as a few packer bids surfaced at US$81 per hundredweight on a live basis. Asking prices ranged upward from $85 as futures markets moved higher, market analysts and brokers said. Some traders also felt that, with packer margins as wide as they are thought to be, cash cattle prices could rise this week and still leave packers with a profit. Cattle sold last week at US$82 to US$82.50 on a live basis and at $130 to $131 dressed.
Packer bids for hogs in the Midwest Tuesday are reported mostly steady. Buying interest for late-week and weekend deliveries by a few plants in the western Corn Belt seems to be enough to keep prices from dipping further at this time, said analysts and livestock dealers in the region. While marketings and slaughter rates remain large for this time of the year, the low prices may be causing some buyers to book a few more loads to ensure they have their needs met.