Cattle futures close with triple digit gains

The distribution of the new showlists has been completed. And the late January cattle offering generally appears to be smaller than last week, especially in the South. Although asking prices are not well defined in the early rounds, it’s a good bet they will be sharply higher with live prices on par with sharply higher February live futures near 129.00. Significant trade volume may not develop until late in the week. The cattle kill totaled 126,000 head, 3,000 more than last week, and 12,000 greater than a year ago.

Boxed beef cutout values were steady to firm on moderate demand and offerings. Choice beef was up .17 at 187.61, and select was .56 higher at 182.42.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 75 to 265 points higher on Monday. The live cattle futures benefited significantly from both supply and demand news. The continuation of tight supplies as well as news about Japan increasing the age requirements had traders aggressive through the morning. Nearby futures did fall from session highs but still held triple digit gains into the close. February settled 2.65 higher at 128.95, and April was also up 2.65 at 133.40.

Feeder cattle ended the session 110 to 215 points higher on support from the live pit and expectations that cattle numbers will remain tight over the foreseeable future. March settled 1.95 higher at 149.90 and April was 2.15 higher at 153.30.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Oklahoma National Stockyards on Monday totaled 6750 head. Compared to last week, feeder steers were 1.00 to 3.00 higher at midsession. Feeder heifers were steady to 2.00 higher. Steer and heifer calves were steady to 4.00 higher, with the exception of cattle weighing less than 500 lbs. trading as much as 10.00 higher. Demand was very good for all classes. 550 to 600 lb. steer calves traded at 163.00 to 172.00 per hundredweight, 700 to 800 lb. yearling steers brought 143.50 to 151.50. 525 to 600 lb. heifer calves brought 144.50 to 156.00. 6 t0 7 weight yearling heifers traded from 138.00 to 146.00.

Lean hogs settled 70 points higher to 20 lower in a light trade. Any fundamental moves in the hog market took a back seat to the aggressive buying in the cattle complex. The idea is that any additional support for beef demand or tight beef supplies will help bolster pork demand through the spring. February closed .35 points higher at 87.17, and April was up .12 at 89.05.

There was slow market activity with light demand in the hog market on Monday. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .16 higher weighted averages on a carcass basis at 85.93, the West was down .06 at 85.74, and the East was .93 lower at 82.05. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady to 2.00 higher from 78.00 to 80.00. Terminal hogs were steady to 2.00 higher live from 56.00 to 58.00.

Pork trading was very slow, with light demand and mostly moderate offerings. Pork carcass cutout value was up .52 at 85.63.

On paper, pork processing margins look bleak with virtually no spread between estimated carcass value at wholesale and the Friday’s weight average negotiated price on Iowa’s dressed barrows and gilts.

The Monday hog kill at 412,000 head is 45,000 more than last Monday and 12,000 more than 2012.

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