Market News

Cattle futures mixed to start the week

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly lower, and feeders were mostly higher preparing for the week’s business.  August live cattle closed $.37 lower at $182.80 and October lives closed $.22 lower at $184.62.  August feeder cattle closed $.65 lower at $261.32 and September feeder cattle closed $.12 lower at $262.57. 

Direct cash cattle trade activity was quiet Monday.  Showlists are higher across all major feeding areas. Bids and asking prices didn’t surface.  Significant trade volume will likely be delayed until sometime Thursday or Friday, especially with Friday’s Cattle on Feed report. 

At the Oklahoma National Stockyards, steers and heifers were $4 to $9 higher with instances of up to $15 higher.  The USDA says demand was very good and quality was average overall.  Receipts were down significantly on the week and down on the year.  Feeder supply included 47% steers and 77% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 602 to 632 pounds brought $282 to $301 and feeder steers 758 to 789 pounds brought $258 to $276.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 652 to 698 pounds brought $245 to $260 and feeder heifers 708 to 733 pounds brought $236 to $245.50. 

Boxed beef closed higher on solid demand for light offerings.  Choice was $.58 higher at $320.47 and Select closed $1.01 higher at $304.82.  The Choice/Select spread is $15.65. Estimated cattle slaughter was 119,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and down about 3,500 on the year.

Lean hog futures ended the day higher on short-covering. July lean hogs closed $1.72 higher at $85.37 and August lean hogs closed $1.42 higher at $91.87. 

Cash hog prices were not reported Monday due to confidentiality. Processors aren’t starting the week aggressive in their procurement efforts and weren’t in a hurry to get business underway. Demand for U.S. pork on the global market has been strong and that’s beneficial to prices.  But hog weights continue to run well above year-ago levels and supplies of market-ready hogs are ample.  Both add some pressure to the overall price picture. The five-day rolling average at the National Daily Direct is $87.49; at the Iowa/Minnesota it is $87.63; and the Western Corn Belt it is $87.66.   

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $6 higher at $66. 

Pork values closed lower Monday – down $2.41 at $98.94. Bellies dropped nearly $12 to start the week.  Butts and loins were lower.  Ribs, hams, and picnics were higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 459,000 head – down 4,000 on the week and up about 2,000 on the year.

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