The cash cattle trade was untested on Tuesday afternoon with packer bids few and far between. While asking prices are not well defined, a few lists are priced around 129.00 to 130.00 in the South and 207.00 plus in the North. Though timing may depend a great deal upon basis opportunities, significant trade volume will probably be delayed until the second half of the week especially if the spot April contract stays firm. The slaughter was estimated at 124,000 head, 3,000 more than last week, and 1,000 below a year ago.
Boxed beef cutout values were firm on moderate demand and light to moderate offerings. Choice boxed beef was up .45 at 181.41 and select was .56 higher at 187.02.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled mixed with the April contract up the most but off the day’s highs. The short term buyer support from commercial buyers pushed the market higher but most contracts closed lower Traders continued to focus on beef demand concerns and signs of cash cattle activity. April settled .45 higher at 126.72, and June was down .32 at 121.70.
Feeder cattle traded in a narrow range and closed 12 points higher to 12 lower. The stronger corn market pressured the feeder complex and concerns about long term beef demand also weighed on the market. April settled .12 lower at 142.67, and May was unchanged at 144.75.
Feeder cattle receipts at the Oklahoma National Stockyards on Monday totaled 6829 head. Compared to last week, feeder steers were steady to 3.00 lower. Feeder heifers were steady to 2.00 lower. The demand for feeder cattle was very uneven. Stocker steers and steer calves were steady to 2.00 higher. Stocker heifers and heifer calves trended mostly steady. Demand was very good, for stockers and calves. Feeder steers, medium and large 1 averaging 626 pounds traded at 162.07. 666 pound heifers brought 132.09.
Lean hogs settled 20 points higher to 70 lower. Trade through the lean pit was extremely quiet through much of the session. The light gains in the nearby contracts early were offset by losses through the end of summer. Traders looked for additional outside or fundamental market news. But very little news or direction was out there for traders to grasp onto. April settled .29 higher at 80.72, and June was down .70 at 89.85.
Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade close .98 higher at 80.23 on a carcass basis, the West was up 1.55 at 80.00 and the East is .04 lower at 76.31. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady to 1.00 higher from 72.00 to 79.00 in a light test. Terminal hogs were steady to instances of .50 and a dollar lower from 52.00 to 54.50 live.
The new mandatory pork report, FOB Omaha had the pork carcass cutout value up 1.09 at 80.75, with gains in the belly, ham and picnics.
The Tuesday hog kill was estimated at 415,000 head, 12,000 less than last week, and down 4,000 from last year.
A spring snowstorm moving through parts of the Northern Plains affected hog movement on Tuesday. Some buyers in the Western direct trade had to raise bids in order to purchase additional inventory. Chain speed has slowed due to poor packer margins and slow pork movement.