Market News

Live cattle higher ahead of direct business

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were higher, and feeders were mixed ahead of widespread direct cash business.  April lean hogs closed $.05 higher at $164.95 and June lean hogs closed $.02 higher at $158.90.  April feeder cattle closed $.40 lower at $197.22 and May feeders closed $.57 lower at $200.80.

It’s another really quiet day for direct cash cattle business.  Bids didn’t surface.  Asking prices were at $165 to $166 live in the South, while the North was quiet.  Showlists for the week are mixed, lower in Texas, Nebraska, and Colorado, but higher in Kansas. It’s likely significant trade volume hold out until midweek or later. 

At the Callaway Livestock Center in Missouri, feeder steers and heifers under 600 pounds were steady to firm with spots of $5 higher on the 400 to 450 steers.  Steers and heifers 600 to 700 pounds sold $4 to $8 higher.  Steers 700 to 750 pounds were firm with a higher undertone.  The USDA says demand was good on a light supply with a much lighter offering.  The quality of the offering overall was good.  The market was active, especially for 600-to-750-pound steers.  Feeder supply included 54% steers and 48% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 607 to 643 pounds brought $219 to $232 and feeder steers 701 to 748 pounds brought $204 to $208.75.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 503 to 540 pounds brought $204 to $220 and feeder heifers 605 to 634 pounds brought $192 to $201.

Boxed beef closed higher on solid demand for moderate offerings.  Choice was $.27 higher at $280.63 and Select closed $.64 higher at $270.36.  The Choice/Select spread is $10.27.  Estimated cattle slaughter was 127,000 head – even on the week and up 2,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day lower on profit-taking, pressure from cash and wholesale business, and position squaring ahead of Thursday’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report. April lean hogs closed $.87 lower at $77.75 and May lean hogs closed $.72 lower at $86. 

Cash hogs were mixed with a solid negotiated run.  Processors have been moving needed numbers this week without having to get aggressive in their procurement efforts and bid up.  The available supplies of market-ready hogs give packers a little more leverage.  While demand has remained relatively strong for US pork on the global market and domestically, there are concerns any hiccups to the global economy could weaken demand and send prices much lower. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.20 lower with a base range of $71 to $77 and a weighted average of $75.64; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.18 higher with a weighted average of $75.99; the Western Corn Belt closed $.26 higher with a weighted average of $75.99; the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $75.20.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $40.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 lower with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $43 to $55. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $46 to $58.  Boars ranged from $46 to $58. Pork values closed $1.22 lower at $80.  Bellies were sharply lower.  Ribs and picnics were lower.  Butts were weak.  Loins were unchanged and hams were higher. 

Estimated hog slaughter was 480,000 head – down 5,000 on the week and the year. 

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