Market News

Cash cattle trade starts week sluggish

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were sharply lower, pressured by last week’s direct business and Monday’s midday losses in boxed beef. February live was down $2.05 at $167.07 and April was $1.92 lower at $169.70. January feeders were $3.90 lower at $210.52 and March was down $3.65 at $213.57.

Direct cash cattle trade was quiet on Monday. New showlists appear to be mixed, higher in Kansas and Nebraska/Colorado, but lower in Texas. Bids and asking prices have yet to be established. Business started up on Monday last week and continued every day right through to Friday, albeit a very light trade each day. South live deals had a full range of $171 to $175, $2 to $3 lower than the previous week. Northern dressed business had a full range of $272 to $277, $4 lower than the week prior.

At the Lamoni Livestock Feeder Cattle Auction in Iowa, steers under 600 pounds sold with a higher undertone compared to the most recent sale, while steers over 600 pounds were $7 to $9 lower. Feeder heifers under 550 pounds were $8 to $11 lower compared to the previous week, while heifers over 550 pounds sold mostly higher. USDA says demand was moderate to good and supply was moderate. Feeder supply included 67% steers and 56% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 602 to 643 pounds brought $236 to $261.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 574 to 594 pounds sold for $220 to $240.50.

Boxed beef closed lower on Monday. Choice was down $2.74 at $294.72 and Select was $2.66 lower at $262.83. The Choice/Select spread was $31.89.

Estimated cattle slaughter was 125,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and even on the year.

Lean hog futures were mostly higher on spread trade, short covering, and the higher midday move in pork. February was up $.70 at $70.80 and April was $1.17 higher at $77.55.

Cash hogs were mixed with moderate closing negotiated sales at the major direct markets. Regional buyers did need to bid up to move the needed numbers, but the market continued to have a lower undertone because of the ample supplies, heavier average weights, and uncertainties about demand. Wholesale business started the week on a higher note but has been mostly lower recently due to slow domestic demand and while exports have held up well, there are questions about that pattern holding up. Some weather-related movement issues are possible this week in parts of the region.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were $.07 lower with a base range of $49 to $60 and weighted average price of $55.53. The Iowa/Minnesota was up $1.44 with a weighted average price of $55.38. The Western Corn Belt was $1.13 higher with a weighted average price of $55.10. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hogs at the Dorchester, Wisconsin and Garnavillo, Iowa markets are trending lower at $50; sows are lower at $39 to $42; boars are marked at $10 to $16.

Pork values closed higher on Monday – up $.88 at $84.43.

Estimated hog slaughter was 488,000 head – up 12,000 on the week and up 2,000 on the year.

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