Market News

Cattle bids and asking prices not developed

The cash cattle trade remained untested on Tuesday afternoon. Both bids and asking prices are few and far between. Significant cattle trade is not expected to develop until sometime on Thursday or Friday. The cattle slaughter was estimated at 114,000 head, 1,000 more than last week, and 6,000 greater than last year. Monday’s slaughter was revised down to 110,000 head.

Boxed beef cutout values were higher on moderate to fairly good demand and moderate offerings. Choice beef was up 1.34 at 188.93, and select was up 1.38 at 190.82.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile exchange closed 52 to 150 points higher. The live contracts spent most of the morning with mixed price ranges as a combination of position squaring met continued buyer support seen over the last two trading sessions. Once market positioning was done, firm gains redeveloped with triple digit gains holding in the nearby contracts.

Feeder cattle settled unchanged to 160 points higher. The initial lack of movement in the cattle complex shifted as the trading session continued allowing triple digit gains to redevelop near midday. The focus through all cattle markets is expected to be moving away from summer market pressure and the potential of an August market rally, which could not only draw additional open interest back into the market but propel additional beef buying activity.

Feeder cattle receipts at Joplin, Missouri Regional Stockyards on Monday totaled just 1172 head. Compared to last week there was not a good test on steers under 600 pounds, over 600 pounds were firm to 3.00 higher. All weights of heifers closed steady. Receipts were curtailed again due to extreme heat and humidity with slightly cooler temperatures expected the remainder of the week. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 623 pounds brought 144.99 per hundredweight. 618 pound heifers traded at 134.16.

Lean hogs settled unchanged to 107 points lower with August down the most. Moderate pressure developed in nearby contracts on Tuesday morning, and this lack of support continued to build through the morning. The lack of underlying follow through support by futures traders as well as the inability to change the direction of cash or pork values left many traders unwilling to step back into the market.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .66 lower at 68.52, weighted average on a carcass basis, the West was also down .66 at 68.44, and nationally the market closed .35 lower at 68.03. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady from 64.00 to 66.00. Midwest hogs on a live basis were steady from 40.00 to 50.00.

The pork carcass cutout value was down 2.38 at 86.51 FOB plant. All cuts were lower and bellies were down $8.73.

Despite the slight bounce in pork value on Monday the overall lack of aggressive buyer support through the tail end of July in pork prices continues to leave the complex in the bargain bin so to speak, with no urgency to move out of that arena so it seems. Even though product movement continues to remain relatively strong, the inability to demand additional premiums for product may continue to limit overall market support.

The Tuesday hog kill was estimated by USDA at 424,000 head, 4,000 more than last week, and 3,000 greater than last year.

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