Total trade volume in the cattle last week ranged from light to fairly active. The new showlists are mixed with larger offerings in Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado but smaller in Texas. Overall the offering looks somewhat larger. Some preliminary asking prices are around 128.00 to 129.00 in the South and 198.00 to 200.00 in the North. Although both sides would like to trade cattle before breaking for Thanksgiving, the difficulty in finding compromise may require buyers to return for business on Friday. The Monday slaughter was estimated at 129,000 head, 16,000 more than last week, but 1,000 smaller than last year.
Boxed beef cutout values closed steady on select and higher on the choice on moderate to fairly good demand. Choice beef was up 1.15 at 194.17, and select was .11 lower at 172.97.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 10 to 45 points higher after widespread support quickly developed across the entire livestock market. Most of the buyer interest was centered on the nearby futures contracts. Despite the pullback in cattle placements in the cattle on feed report, deferred contracts held only slight gains. The support across the complex seemed to be focused on short term movements in outside markets surrounding the upcoming holiday season. December was up .45 at 126.60, and February was .12 higher at 130.15.
Feeder cattle ended the session 10 to 40 points higher but off the day’s highs. Even though corn prices held on to double digit gains, the expectation of firmness in the live cattle markets as well as tighter short-term and long tern supplies of feeder cattle had commercial traders more aggressive on Monday, January settled .40 higher at 146.00, March was up .27 at 148.40.
Feeder cattle receipts at the Oklahoma National Stockyards on Monday totaled 5,000 head. Compared to last week, feeder cattle and calves were lightly tested and a few sales were steady. The early demand was good for several long strings of weaned calves and limited numbers of feeder cattle, moderate for others. Feeder steers calves, medium and large 1 weighing 500 to 525 lbs. traded from 164.00 to 170.00. 5 to 6 weight heifers brought 137.50 to 143.00.
Lean hogs settled 17 to 112 points higher, but off the session highs. Traders had expected the support seen through the morning to hold through the end of the session, although questions remained just how much additional support could develop during the short holiday week. Traders are expected to narrow the price spread between the December and February futures contracts through the next couple of weeks, although there still remains questions about how much support future demand can sustain according to DTN. December was up 1.12 at 81.45, and February was .97 higher at 87.42.
There was slow market activity with light demand in the cash hog market on Monday. Iowa/Minnesota direct trade barrows and gilts closed 1.96 lower at 72.89 on a carcass basis, the West was down 1.53 at 73.07, and the East was 1.18 lower at 71.66. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady to 1.00 lower from 70.00 to 76.00. Terminal hogs closed steady to 2.00 lower from 50.00 to 54.00.
Pork trading was very slow with light demand and light to moderate offerings. Pork carcass cutout value was down .60 at 81.63.
Monday’s hog kill was estimated at 435,000 head, 6,000 more than last week, and 1,000 more than last year.
The red meat trade immediately before Thanksgiving is typically weak and slow. Wholesale beef and pork prices are likely to remain defensive until early next week.