Boxed beef cutouts close sharply higher

Cattle country remained quiet on Monday afternoon with bids and asking prices yet to be fully established. Best early guesses are around 124.00 to 125.00 in the south and 200.00 plus in the North. The kill totaled 112,000 head, 15,000 greater than last week, but 8,000 below last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were sharply higher on moderate demand and light offerings.  Choice beef was up 2.75 at 181.26, and select was up 3.16 at 180.49.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 20 higher to 30 points lower. For the most part, trade activity across the live cattle futures market was subdued while buyers looked for additional support from outside markets. Boxed beef prices were sharply higher at midday, and traders are looking for additional stability in futures over the near term as a result. April was up .20 at 120.72, and June was .20 higher at 120.72.

Feeder cattle ended the session mostly higher on the sharp pressure in the grain markets. Buyers took advantage of the weakness in corn prices despite not having a clear direction from the live cattle market. April was the only contract lower, down .17 at 150.35, and May was up .40 at 151.92.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Oklahoma National Stockyards on Monday totaled 5400 head. Compared to last week, feeder steers and heifers were 2.00 to 5.00 higher. Steer and heifer calves were steady in a light test. Demand was moderate to good with increased demand for light fleshed cattle suitable for grazing. Receipts were reduced somewhat again because of heavy rains late last week. Feeder steers, medium and large 1 weighing 600 to 650 lbs. 172.00 to 183.50. Feeder heifers weighing 600 to 650 lbs. brought 163.00 to 169.00.

Lean hogs settled 45 to 152 points lower as the trade is concerned about additional pressure in both the wholesale and cash hog prices over the near term.  Widespread commercial liquidation was the main feature of trade. April settled .45 lower at 82.30, and May was down 1.57 at 88.55.

There was slow market activity with light demand in the hogs on Monday. Iowa/Minnesota barrows and gilts closed .73 lower at 79.50 on a carcass basis, the West was down .66 at 79.27, and the East was .20 lower at 79.46. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady to 1.00 lower at 78.00. Terminal hogs were 1.00 lower to 1.00 higher from 52.00 to 57.00.

Pork trading was very slow, with light to moderate demand and offerings. Pork carcass cutout value was up .84 at 77.85

The Monday hog kill was estimated at 432,000 head, 137,000 more than last week’s holiday shortened slaughter and 22,000 more than last year.

Last week’s wholesale pork trade victimized market bulls with another head fake, quoting carcass value sharply higher on Wednesday and then taking it all away and more on Friday. The cut-outs closed $1.81 lower on Friday, hammered by sharp drops in the loin, rib and belly.

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