Market News

Cattle futures lower waiting on direct business

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were lower ahead of the week’s direct business and Friday’s on feed numbers.  Feeders had additional pressure from the higher move in corn.  August live cattle closed $.70 lower at $182.10 and October live cattle closed $.75 lower at $183.87.  August feeder cattle closed $1.37 lower at $259.95 and September feeders closed $1.45 lower at $261.12. 

Direct cash cattle trade activity was quiet Tuesday.  Bids did not surface.  Asking prices started out around $189 live in the South, while the North remained quiet.  With Friday’s Cattle on Feed report, it’s very likely significant trade volume will hold out until sometime Thursday or Friday.

At the Callaway Livestock Market in Missouri, steer calves 400 to 600 pounds were steady while 600 to 650 pounds steers were $5 to $8 lower.  Two pot loads of 668 and 677 pounds steers were steady and yearling steers over 700 pounds were not well tested.  Feeder heifers 400 to 500 pounds were steady to firm.  Heifers 500 to 550 pounds were $5 to $10 higher on a much higher quality offering.  The USDA says demand was good on a moderate supply.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 66% steers and 51% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 662 to 667 pounds brought $304 and feeder steers 872 to 882 pounds brought $249 to $253.75.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 555 to 594 pounds brought $284 to $293 and feeder heifers 628 to 646 pounds brought $272 to $282. 

Boxed beef closed mixed with light to moderate demand for heavy offerings.  Choice was $.05 higher at $320.52 and Select closed $.61 lower at $304.21.  The Choice/Select spread is $16.31. Estimated cattle slaughter was 123,000 head – even on the week and down 6,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures ended the day mostly higher on oversold signals and demand optimism. July lean hogs closed $1.60 lower at $93.77 and August lean hogs closed $.30 lower at $91.57. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a very nice negotiated run.  Processors had to get more aggressive in their procurement efforts to move needed numbers.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs and hog weights, which are still running well above year-ago levels.  Demand for US pork on the global market has been a bright spot and that’s helping to provide at least some price support. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct had a base range of $83 to $91 and a weighted average of $89.02; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $89.05; the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $89.04.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $66. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 higher with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $57 to $69.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $52 to $62.  Boars ranged from $18 to $28 and $8 to $15. 

Pork values closed lower – down $.57 at $98.37.  Loins, bellies, and picnics were lower.  Ribs, hams, and butts were all higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 482,000 head – even on the week and up about 14,000 on the year.

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