Market News

Live cattle close higher watching direct business develop

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were up, and feeders were mixed watching direct business develop.  August live cattle closed $1.17 higher at $179.50 and October lives closed $.65 higher at $181.70.  August feeders closed $.10 lower at $257.47 and September feeders closed $.17 lower at $258.30. 

A light to moderate direct cash cattle trade took place Thursday.  Live deals in the South were marked at $186, $1 higher than the previous week’s weighted averages.  Deals in Nebraska were marked at $195 live and $305 to $307 dressed, mostly $305 which was $4 higher than the previous week’s business. More trade could develop before the end of the day Friday.

At the OKC West Livestock Auction, feeder steers were $8 to $12 higher.  Feeder heifers were $2 to $4 higher.  The USDA says demand was very good for feeders.  Steer and heifer calves were steady on a very limited comparable offering.  Demand was good.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 50% steers and 86% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 800 to 846 pounds brought $241 to $262 and feeder steers 904 to 948 pounds brought $231 to $246.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 560 to 597 pounds brought $260 to $285 and feeder heifers 758 to 789 pounds brought $230 to $243.

Boxed beef closed higher with good demand for solid offerings.  Choice was $.71 higher at $318.31 and Select closed $.32 higher at $299.25.  The Choice/Select spread is $19.06. Estimated cattle slaughter was 122,000 head – even on the week and down about 4,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were pressured by profit taking and weaker cash and wholesale business during the session. July lean hogs closed $.92 lower at $92.77 and August lean hogs closed $1.35 lower at $88.60. 

Cash hogs closed lower with light negotiated purchases. Processors weren’t very aggressive in their procurement efforts Thursday, and it could be that they had needed numbers on hand. Demand continues to be a bright spot for the market.  There was another solid export sales report this week, confirming that U.S. pork remains in high demand on the global market.  That is supportive to prices.  While hog weights did decline on the week, they’re still more than 9 pounds higher than year-ago levels which means there’s ample supplies of pork available. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were $.72 lower with a base range of $85 to $89 and a weighted average of $86.87 and the Eastern Corn Belt had a weighted average of $86.21.  Prices at the Iowa/Minnesota and the Western Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $60. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $3 higher with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $52 to $64.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $52 to $62.  Boars ranged from $18 to $28 and $8 to $15. 

Pork values closed lower – down $1.99 at $97.02.  Bellies, ribs, loins, and butts were all lower.  Hams and picnics were higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 475,000 head – down 5,000 on the week and up about 17,000 on the year.

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