Market News

Cattle futures mixed waiting on direct business

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were mixed ahead of widespread direct business and Friday’s On Feed numbers from the USDA. April live cattle closed $.52 lower at $188.05 and June lives closed $.40 lower at $185. April feeder cattle closed $.02 lower at $255.07 and May feeders closed $.20 lower at $258.92.

Direct cash cattle trade activity was quiet on Tuesday. Bids didn’t surface. Early asking prices were floated around $188-plus live in the South, but were not established in the North. Significant trade volume will likely be delayed until later in the week.

At the Joplin Regional Stockyards in Missouri, feeder steers were steady to $8 higher with some heavy 4-weight steers $25 higher. Feeder heifers sold from $5 lower to $3 higher. The USDA says supply was heavy and cattle were met with very good demand. Receipts were upon the week and the year. Feeder supply included 55% steers and 62% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 600 to 646 pounds brought $280 to $318 and feeder steers 802 to 845 pounds brought $238.75 to $255. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 550 to 597 pounds brought $260 to $300 and feeder heifers 702 to 746 pounds brought $229 to $249.

Boxed beef closed mixed with light to moderate demand for solid offerings. Choice was $.11 lower at $313.22 and Select was $.13 higher at $303.18. The Choice/Select spread is $10.04. Estimated cattle slaughter was 122,000 head – even on the week and down more than 4,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures ended the day mixed on spread trade and overbought signals. April lean hogs closed $1.00 lower at $85.82 and May lean hogs closed $1.47 lower at $91.95.

Cash hogs ended the day higher with a solid negotiated run. Processors got more aggressive in their procurement efforts Tuesday afternoon and bid up to move needed numbers. The industry continues to monitor both global and domestic demand, strength in both have helped provide price support. It’s also watching supplies of market-ready hogs, hog weights, and the ongoing inconsistency in pork cutout values. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.12 higher with a base range of $75 to $83 and a weighted average of $80.78; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.92 higher with a weighted average of $80.80; the Western Corn Belt closed $.88 higher with a weighted average of $80.55. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $60. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $50 to $62. Boars ranged from $15 to $25 and $8 to $15. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $43 to $53.

Pork values closed higher – up $.21 at $93.37. Ribs, bellies, and hams were all higher, while loins, picnics, and butts were lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 491,000 head – up 7,000 on the week and up more than 4,000 on the year.

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