Market News

Feeder cattle find support as corn moves lower

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were higher, watching direct business develop.  Feeders had additional support on the mostly lower move in corn. October live cattle closed $2.05 higher at $180.72 and December lives closed $1.60 higher at $184.52.  September feeder cattle closed $2.17 higher at $250.75 and October feeders closed $2.37 higher at $253.25. 

There was a light direct cash cattle trade that developed on Thursday.  Dressed deals in parts of Nebraska were at mostly $292, $3 lower than the previous week’s weighted averages.  Asking prices in the South held firm around $180 to $182 live and were at $294-plus dressed in the North.  More business is expected to develop on Friday.  There was some scattered, light business that took place on Wednesday in Iowa but wasn’t enough to establish a trend.

At the Mitchell Livestock Auction in South Dakota, thin fleshed steers off grass under 1000 pounds were higher, steers 1050 to 1150 pounds were $5 higher.  Some light heifers were met with good demand and higher prices.  The USDA says demand was good to very good for the very limited offering.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 71% steers and 100% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 871 pounds, thin fleshed, brought $254 and feeder steers 970 pounds brought $236.75.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 816 pounds brought $235 and feeder heifers 951 pounds brought $219.85. 

Boxed beef closed higher on solid demand for moderate offerings.  Choice was $.58 higher at $317.63 and Select closed $.32 higher at $291.91.  The Choice/Select spread is $25.72. Estimated cattle slaughter was 124,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and even on the year.

Lean hog futures ended the day higher supported by higher pork values during the session and contracts’ discount to cash. October lean hogs closed $1.92 higher at $80.47 and December lean hogs closed $.85 higher at $71.90.

Cash hogs closed lower with a light negotiated run. The weather has been a big factor in business this week and with record and near-record temperatures across much of the country, no one is in any big hurry to move numbers.  Demand has also been a big part of the cash hog market story.  Today’s Export Sales report showed another increase, which is a good sign for the industry on the global market.  However, the summer grilling season is winding down so there is concern domestic demand could see some pressure.  industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were down $.77 with a base range of $82 to $94 and a weighted average of $87.65; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.77 lower with a weighted average of $87.73; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.83 lower with a weighted average of $86.47.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $66. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $48 to $61.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $57 to $67.  Boars ranged from $25 to $32 and $10 to $15. 

Pork values closed sharply higher – up $4.13 at $104.92.  Bellies jumped more than $15. Hams, butts, picnics, and loins were all higher.  Ribs were sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 471,000 head – down 5,000 on the week and down 9,000 on the year.  Wednesday’s hog slaughter was 464,000 head. 

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