Live and feeder cattle futures closed sharply higher Friday with spot April surging to its highest level since late February. On the other hand, lean hog futures crashed with triple-digit losses, pressured by fundamental fears and technical-selling.
Feedlot managers won another Friday showdown, forcing short-bought packers to pay significantly higher prices for ready cattle. Most of the live business in the South was marked at $124, $2 higher than last week. On the other hand, Northern packers paid as much as $126 on a live basis ($4 higher than last week basis Nebraska) and $198 to $199 on a dressed basis, $8 to $9 higher.
The National hog base closed off $0.11 compared with the Prior Day settlement ($52-$58.50, weighted average $58.22). From Friday to Friday, livestock futures scored the following changes: Apr LC up $5.10; Jun LC up $3.28; May FC up $2.70; Aug FC up $3.75; Jun LH off $4.93; Jul LH off $3.80.
Corn futures closed 3 cents plus higher, supported by dry conditions in Brazil and sharply higher bean trading. The stock market closed on a mixed basis with the Dow off 11 point and the Nasdaq up 1.