Market News

Cattle futures start the week higher

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day higher on oversold signals and the quick start to cash business this week.  Feeder cattle were higher on the same factors with additional support from the day’s modestly lower move in corn.  June live cattle were unchanged at $96.07 and August contracts closed $.67 higher at $96.  August feeder cattle closed $.07 higher at $131.17 and September feeder cattle closed $.10 higher at $132.57. 

A very, very light direct cash cattle trade took place in Nebraska to start the week. Live deals have a range of $100 to $105 and dressed business at $167.  That’s not near enough to establish a trend for the week.  The rest of cattle country remains quiet.  Showlists this week are somewhat larger in Kansas, larger in Texas and Nebraska/Colorado. 

At midsession at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week feeder steers and heifers were steady to $3 higher, 600 to 700-pound steers were not fully established.  Steer and heifer calves were lightly tested.  The USDA says demand was good to very good for feeder cattle and quality was plain to average with a few attractive sprinkled in the mix.  Receipts were steady on the week and up on the year.  Feeder supply included 68 percent steers and 75 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 715 to 742 pounds brought $135.50 to $144.25 and feeder steers 900 to 927 pounds brought $119 to $126.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 718 to 748 pounds brought $117.75 to $120 and feeder heifers 812 to 823 pounds brought $106 to $114.50. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light to moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings.  Choice closed $2.03 lower at $228.61 and Select closed $4.92 lower at $214.35.  The Choice/Select spread is $14.26. 

Estimated cattle slaughter is 119,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and down just 1,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mostly higher on oversold signals and optimism about demand potential.  July lean hogs closed $.60 higher at $52.27 and August lean hogs closed $.62 higher at $55.27. 

Cash hogs closed weak to lower with solid negotiated purchases.  Supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts are more than ample, but the fact that processors are continuing to push daily slaughter totals higher is helping to keep the supply chain moving.  However, it’s still taking some time for packers to move through the backlog of hogs from the height of the processor slowdowns and shutdown.  The industry remains optimistic demand for US pork will stay strong both domestically and globally as that should help to keep prices somewhat supported.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.55 lower with a base range of $27 to $31.50 for a weighted average of $29.87; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.23 lower for a weighted average of $29.71; the Western Corn Belt closed $.81 lower for a weighted average of $29.71.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $20.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $7 to $18.  Barrows and gilts were steady with light demand for heavy offering at $10 to $18.  Boars ranged from $1 to $5. 

Pork values closed sharply lower – down $4.53 at 65.46.  Hams dropped nearly $17.  Loins and picnics were also sharply lower.  Ribs, bellies, and butts closed higher.  Estimated hog slaughter is 457,000 head – up 8,000 on the week, but still down 17,000 on the year.  Friday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 432,000 head.  

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