Market News

Cattle futures higher waiting on cash business

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were higher, waiting for widespread direct business to develop and the sharply higher trend in boxed beef. June live cattle closed $.77 higher at $179.02, and August live cattle closed $.85 higher at $177.37. August feeder cattle closed $1.47 higher at $257.35, and September feeders closed $1.45 higher at $258.40. 

Direct cash cattle trade was relatively quiet again on Thursday.  Asking prices were at $186 to $187-plus live in the South, and $300 dressed in the North.  There were a handful of deals reported on Wednesday, but not enough to establish an accurate price trend.  Look for more business to develop before the end of the day Friday.

At the Mitchell Livestock Auction in South Dakota, feeder steers 700 to 950 pounds sold on a higher undertone and steers 950 to 1000 pounds were $2 higher.  Feeder heifers 700 to 900 pounds were uneven and heifers 900 to 950 pounds were $5 higher. The UDSA says demand was good and flesh determined prices.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 46% steers and 98% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 916 to 937 pounds brought $225.50 to $236 and feeder steers 952 to 988 pounds brought $220 to $224.25.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 851 to 896 pounds brought $215 to $226.50 and feeder heifers 901 to 917 pounds brought $210 to $221.75. 

Boxed beef closed sharply higher on solid demand for moderate offerings.  Choice was $3.38 higher at $310.15 and Select closed $2.20 higher at $296.51.  The Choice/Select spread is $13.64. Estimated cattle slaughter was 124,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and about even on the year.

Lean hog futures ended the day mixed on spread trade. June lean hogs closed $.87 higher at $98.37 and July lean hogs closed $.75 higher at $101.62. 

Cash hogs were modestly higher with a fairly light negotiated run. Processors had to work a little harder to move needed numbers Thursday.  This week’s Export Sales hit a marketing year low for pork. However, demand, overall, remains a bright spot.  U.S. pork is popular on the global market and with summer grilling season nearly here, domestic demand has also seen an uptick.  The industry continues to monitor supplies of market-ready hogs and hog weights. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.60 higher with a base range of $83.50 to $90 and a weighted average of $89.33; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.15 higher with a weighted average of $89.56; the Western Corn Belt closed $.71 higher with a weighted average of $89.53; the Eastern Corn Belt closed $.57 higher with a weighted average of $89.  

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $50. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $35 to $47.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $51 to $61.  Boars ranged from $18 to $28 and $8 to $15.

Pork values closed lower – down $1.43 at $100.27.  Hams were sharply lower and the rest of the primals were lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 479,000 head – up 7,000 on the week and up about 8,000 on the year. 

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