Cattle country was typically quiet on Monday following the distribution of this week’s showlists. The numbers of ready cattle are generally even with last week, especially in the North. Offerings do vary in the South with greater numbers in Texas, but fewer cattle are offered in Kansas. A few of the showlists have been priced around 126.00 in the South and 198.00 plus in the North. The kill totaled 127,000 head, 7,000 greater than last week, but even with 2011.
Boxed beef cutout values were firm to higher on light to moderate demand and light offerings. Choice boxed beef ended the day 1.10 higher at 194.05, and select was up .54 at 172.93.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 12 to 45 points lower on Monday. The live cattle futures remained relatively inactive through much of the session. The fact that losses were not greater was impressive given the pressure late last week as well as the weakness in the cash markets. There was early week support in the boxed beef prices and packers are short bought and that did lend some support to the market. December settled .27 lower at 125.60, and February was down .12 at 130.27.
Feeder cattle ended the session 70 to 105 points higher. There was moderate to strong support in the feeder futures following the sharp early pressure in the grain complex. Trade volume remained extremely light. January settled 1.00 higher at 149.77, and March was up 1.05 at 152.20.
Cattle receipts at South Dakota auctions last week totaled 38,726 head. Compared to the previous week, steer calves sold steady to 2.00 higher, instances of 3.00 to 5.00 higher on 450 to 600 lbs., yearling feeder steers 1.00 to 2.00 lower. Heifer calves weighing less than 450 lbs. 2.00 to 5.00 higher, over 450 lbs. steady to 2.00 higher. Yearling heifers steady to 2.00 higher. There was very good demand for calves, moderate to good demand, and moderate to good demand for yearlings. Feeder steers, medium and large 1 averaging 530 lbs. traded at an average of 175.02. 520 lb. heifers brought 153.99 per hundredweight.
Lean hogs settled 47 points higher to 75 lower with just a couple of months in the red. Light buyer support trickled into the nearby futures early in the session following the sharp losses seen late last week. Some pressure did develop mainly in the thinly traded deferred contracts. May 2013 settled 75 points lower. The soon to expire December contract was down 12 at 82.15, and February was up .45 at 83.92.
There was slow market activity with light demand in the direct trade hogs on Monday. The Iowa/Minnesota barrows and gilts closed 3.64 lower at 78.36 on a carcass basis, the West was down 3.16 at 78.76, and the East was 2.26 lower at 79.74. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady to 2.00 lower from 74.00 to 80.00. Terminal hogs were steady with an instance of 2.00 to 4.00 lower from 52.00 to 56.00 live.
Pork trading was light, with light demand and light to moderate offerings. Pork carcass cutout value was down .59 at 84.42.
The Monday hog kill was estimated at 428,000 head, 4,000 less than last week and down 3,000 from last year. Kill schedules may be slowed as the demand for hogs to start the week is down as most processors have sufficient supplies of pork on hand for retail promotions ahead of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Look for lower cash bids on Tuesday.