Market News

Cattle futures mostly lower waiting for cash trade to develop

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day mostly lower ahead of widespread direct cash business.  December live cattle were unchanged at $153.05 and February live cattle closed $.25 lower at $154.77.  January feeder cattle closed $.02 lower at $179.90 and March feeder cattle closed $.10 lower at $182.15. 

It was a relatively quiet day for direct cash cattle business.  Bids didn’t surface and asking prices were at $152 live in the South, while the North was quiet.  Significant trade volume isn’t expected to develop until midweek or later.   

At the Joplin Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to last week feeder steers under 775 pounds were $3 to $8 higher.  One offering of 728 pounds steers was $17 higher.  Steers over 775 pounds were steady.  Feeder heifers were $5 to $12 higher.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 55% steers and 49% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 510 to 549 pounds brought $187 to $203 and feeder steers 855 to 877 pounds brought $175 to $179.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 410 to 448 pounds brought $175 to $194 and feeder heifers 751 to 787 pounds brought $163 to $166. 

Boxed beef closed firm with solid demand for strong offerings.  Choice closed $.39 higher at $264.94 and Select closed $.13 higher at $236.05.  The Choice/Select spread is $28.89. Estimated cattle slaughter was 129,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and up 5,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures were pressured by profit-taking and the lower pork values.  December lean hogs closed $1.47 lower at $85.75 and February lean hogs closed $.55 lower at $88.50. 

Cash hogs closed mixed with a solid negotiated run. Processors startedthe day a little more aggressive in their procurement efforts and bid up to move desired numbers.  The industry continues to watch the availability of market-ready hogs and the overall demand picture.  While it has held relatively strong for US pork on the global market, there are concerns with a slowing global economy, demand could struggle and ultimately push prices lower. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.45 higher with a base range of $81 to $91 and a weighted average of $87.22; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.61 lower with a weighted average of $88.07; the Western Corn Belt closed $.29 lower with a weighted average of $88.39.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $60. 

Pork values closed lower – down $1.92 at $95.03.  Bellies, loins, butts, and ribs were all lower.  Picnics and hams were higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 491,000 head – up 9,000 on the week and up 14,000 on the year. 

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