Market News

Feeder cattle pressured by higher move in corn

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly lower, and feeders were sharply lower watching corn and the direct markets.  August live cattle closed $.05 higher at $169.75 and October live cattle closed $.50 lower at $172.95.  August feeder cattle closed $4.42 lower at $227.72 and September feeders closed $4.20 lower at $231.42.

It was another relatively quiet day for direct cash cattle business.  Bids were floated in the North at $290 dressed and $182 to $183 live, but were passed.  The South was mostly quiet Wednesday following the light to moderate round of business that took place on Tuesday, mostly at $180 live, $2 lower than the previous week’s weighted averages.  More business is expected to develop over the balance of the week.

At the Hub City Livestock Auction in South Dakota, the best test was on steers 850 to 899 pounds and 950 to 999 pounds, which were mostly steady.  The best test on heifers, 900 to 949 pounds were mostly steady.  The USDA says there were a lot of packages with just a handful of strings and loads that made up the day’s offering.  Demand was good to very good for loads, and moderate to good for packages.  Quality varied and overall, the quality was below last week.  Flesh ranged from light to moderate plus with some heavy flesh.  There were several packages coming off grass, mostly due to dry conditions.  The market was moderate to active.  Receipts were about half of what they were last week and also down on the year.  Feeder supply included 56% steers and 92% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 858 to 882 pounds brought $212 to $224.75 for an average price of $219.57 and feeder steers 951 to 986 pounds brought $209 to $220 for an average price of $215.84.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 812 to 830 pounds brought $196.25 to $205 for an average price of $200.93 and feeder heifers 904 to 942 pounds brought $188.50 to $199.25 for an average price of $193.99. 

At the Fort Atkinson Hay Market in Iowa, prices were steady to higher with quality on par with the previous week.  Premium hay brought $185 to $240.  Good quality hay brought $150 to $185, fair hay brought $115 to $145, and utility hay brought $105 to $115. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for solid offerings.  Choice was $2.66 lower at $334.25 and Select closed $3.68 lower at $304.25.  The Choice/Select spread is $30.00.    Estimated cattle slaughter was 125,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and the year.

Lean hog futures ended the day mixed with uncertainties about sustained demand.  July lean hogs closed $1.10 lower at $94.75 and August lean hogs closed $.42 lower at $92.77. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a solid negotiated run. Processors remain aggressive in their procurement efforts and have been bidding up to move needed numbers.  Supplies could be tightening, and hog weights have been on the decline both could be contributing to the increased efforts from packers.  Demand for US pork on the global market remains strong and domestic demand has been something to watch, especially ahead of the implementation of Proposition 12 in California.  Hog weights declined again this week, down 1.4 pounds to 278.5, which is also a 5.1-pound decline for the year. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.78 higher with a base range of $82 to $99 and a weighted average of $96.34; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.19 higher with a weighted average of $96.97; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.17 higher with a weighted average of $96.93.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady with the last reported test of $72 and $74.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $19 to $29.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $50 to $60.  Boars ranged from $15 to $25 and $5 to $10. 

Pork values closed higher – up $1.46 at $96.08.  All of the primals were higher, with stronger support in hams and butts.  Estimated hog slaughter was 456,000 head – down 9,000 on the week and down 13,000 on the year. 

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