Market News

Cattle futures lower to start the week

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were lower ahead of the week’s direct cash business with additional pressure from lower boxed beef prices. August live cattle closed $2.02 lower at $169.80 and October lives closed $1.90 lower at $173.45.  August feeder cattle closed $2.77 lower at $232.15 and September feeders closed $2.55 lower at $235.62. 

Direct cash cattle business was quiet on Tuesday.  The lone bid reported was in Kansas at $178 live, the rest of cattle country was quiet.  Asking prices have been slow to surface.  It’s quite likely significant trade volume will be delayed until sometime Thursday or Friday. 

At the Joplin Regional Stockyards in Missouri, feeder steers under 525 pounds were steady to $4 lower with heavier weights steady to $5 higher.  Feeder heifers under 500 pounds were $2 to $8 lower with heavier weights selling steady to $6 higher.  The USDA says supply was heavy and demand was good.  Receipts were down on the week and up on the year.  Feeder supply included 52% steers and 48% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 557 to 594 pounds brought $258 to $289 for an average price of $273.90 and feeder steers 863 to 893 pounds brought $216.25 to $227 for an average price of $221.15.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 600 to 644 pounds brought $220 to $236 for an average price of $225.13 and feeder heifers 661 to 689 pounds brought $222 to $240 for an average price of $237.18. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for solid offerings.  Choice was $3.23 lower at $336.91 and Select closed $2.83 lower at $307.93.  The Choice/Select spread is $28.98.  Estimated cattle slaughter was 127,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and down 1,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day higher, supported by stronger demand expectations.  July lean hogs closed $3.00 higher at $95.85 and August lean hogs closed $2.52 higher at $93.20.

Cash hogs closed higher with a huge negotiated run.  Processors have started the week aggressive in their procurement efforts and are bidding up to move needed numbers.  While demand for US pork on the global market has been relatively strong, helping provide some much-needed price support, all eyes are monitoring the domestic demand situation.  As summer grilling is in full swing and there is still uncertainty about how the implementation of California’s Prop 12 will impact the pork industry.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.73 higher with a base range of $80 to $99 and a weighted average of $95.56; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.43 higher with a weighted average of $95.78; the Western Corn Belt closed $.41 higher with a weighted average of $95.76; the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $89.71. 

At Illinois, slaughter sow pries were $3 higher with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $19 to $29.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $50 to $60.  Boars ranged from $15 to $25 and $5 to $10. 

Pork values closed lower – down $1.44 at $94.62.  Bellies were sharply lower.  Picnics, hams, and loins were lower.  Butts were higher.  Estimated hog slaughter was 469,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and the year. 

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