Market News

Feeder cattle higher on lower move in corn

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were mostly higher, getting ready for the week’s direct business, and feeders were up on the lower move in corn. April live was down $.52 at $165.45 and June was up $.10 at $160.65. April feeders were $1.40 higher at $200.07 and May was up $1.95 at $206.15.

It’s another quiet day for direct cash cattle business.  Bids failed to surface on Wednesday and asking prices were around $166 to $167-plus live in the South, while the North remained quiet.  It looks like the bulk of the week’s business will follow the trend of recent weeks and hold out until sometime Thursday or Friday.

At the Kingsville Livestock Auction in Missouri, yearling steers traded $4 to $8 higher compared to last week while yearling heifers sold steady to $4 higher. USDA says calves were lightly tested last week but steer calves traded with a higher to sharply higher undertone and heifer calves sold with a steady to higher undertone. Demand was good to very good for a moderate supply that included several loads of yearlings and still quite a few hard weaned calves. Grass buyers were very aggressive for the few true stocker cattle left. Slaughter cows and bulls sold steady. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 702 to 748 pounds brought $198 to $203 and feeder steers 868 to 897 pounds brought $177.25 to $188. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 704 to 719 pounds brought $188 to $189.25.

Boxed beef closed mixed. Choice was $3.15 lower at $284.78 and Select was $.63 higher at $278.12.

Estimated cattle slaughter was 126,000 head – even on the week and up 1,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were mostly higher on spread trade and the cash and wholesale trade during the session. April was up $.95 at $85.75 and May was $.22 higher at $93.17.

Cash hogs closed mostly higher with a large negotiated run. Packers were fairly aggressive in their procurement efforts on Wednesday and bid up to move their needed numbers. Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically continues to show some strength, helping provide support to prices. The industry is keeping a close eye on the availability of market-ready hogs. With back-to-back days of larger runs, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see processors back off some toward the end of the week.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.55 higher with a base range $73 to $81 and weighted average of $79.02; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.21 higher with a weighted average of $$79.69; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.19 higher with a weighted average of $79.61; and the Eastern Corn Belt closed $.40 lower at $78.49.

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets were called steady to a dollar higher.

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $52 to $65. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $51 to $61. Boars were $15 to $25 and $8 to $15.

Pork values closed higher – up $.64 at $87.66. Hams, picnics, butts, and loins were higher. Bellies and ribs were lower.

Estimated hog slaughter was 481,000 head – up 13,000 on the week and 3,000 on the year.

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