Market News

Cattle, hog futures sharply higher on oversold signals

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day sharply higher on oversold signals and broader market support.  Feeder cattle were sharply higher on the same factors as the live pig.  April live cattle closed $2.60 higher at $105.45 and June live cattle closed $2.42 higher at $99.52.  March feeder cattle closed $1.55 higher at $127.75 and April feeder cattle closed $2.40 higher at $127.95. 

A relatively quiet day for direct cash cattle trade activity.  There were just a few scattered bids on the table at $108 live in the South and $175 dressed.  Asking prices were restated at $112 live and $180 dressed.  There was a very light trade that took place in parts of the North on Monday with dressed deals at $175, $6 lower than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  Live business was marked at $110, $3 lower than the prior week.  The South was at a standstill.  Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange has an offering of 460 head.

At the Callaway Livestock Center in Missouri, compared to last week feeder steers 450 to 600 pounds and 700 to 750 pounds were $10 to $12 lower, with 6 weight steers on a light test selling with a lower undertone, 800 to 850 pounds were $4 to $5 lower.  Feeder heifers weighing 400 to 600 pounds were $4 to $6 lower on a few comparable sales with last week.  Heifers over 600 pounds traded with a lower undertone.  The bulk of the feeder cattle were steers, with overall good quality.  Receipts of 1,988 head were up on the week and down on the year.  Feeder supply included 63 percent steers and 57 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and large 1 feeder steers 558 to 593 pounds brought $148 to $157.50 and feeder steers 807 to 819 pounds brought $129.50 to $135.10.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 463 to 498 pounds brought $144 to $152 and feeder heifers 700 pounds brought $124.75. 

Boxed beef closed weak to sharply lower on light to moderate demand and offerings.  Choice closed $.27 lower at $207.09 and Select closed $3.61 lower at $198.71.  The Choice/Select spread closed at $8.38.    

Estimated cattle slaughter is 123,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 1,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed sharply higher on an oversold bounce and broader market support.  April lean hogs closed $2 higher at $65 and May lean hogs closed $2.30 higher at $71. 

Cash hogs closed higher with very large negotiated purchase numbers.  Packers bid up to move big numbers.  The market continues to watch the supply and demand picture.  Availability of market-ready hogs remains more than ample, but domestic demand has remained strong and optimism that global demand for US pork will see a big boost is helping to keep prices supported.  The industry is keeping a close eye on news surrounding the coronavirus – as it has the potential to have a significant impact on both domestic and global demand. 

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.10 higher with a base range of $46 to $54.25 for a weighted average of $52.34; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.17 higher for a weighted average of $52.79; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.26 higher for a weighted average of $52.78; the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison, but ended the day with a weighted average of $51.91. 

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were firm with good demand for heavy offerings at $19 to $28.  Barrows and gilt prices were firm with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $30 to $35.  Boars brought $10 to $20. 

Pork values closed steady – up $.01 at $67.86.  Loins, bellies, and butts were all steady.  Picnics were sharply higher.  Ribs and hams closed weak. 

Estimated hog slaughter is 498,000 head – up 3,000 on the week and 20,000 on the year.  Monday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 491,000 head. 

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