Cattle country was at a virtual standstill on Tuesday afternoon with bids and asking prices poorly defined. Private sources did report a few bids on the table in the South at 121.00. A few of the feedlots have suggested asking prices of 125.00 plus in the South and 196.00 to 198.00 in the North. Trade will probably be delayed until Thursday or Friday. The kill totaled 125,000 head, 1,000 more than last week, but 3,000 less than a year ago.
Boxed beef cutout values were weak to lower on light to moderate offerings. Choice beef was down .60 at 193.73, and select was 1.12 lower at 178.74.
Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 10 to 32 points lower. The trade was mixed much of the session with some support found in the deferred contracts. The overall tone of the market was weak. Boxed beef prices were lower at midday and cash cattle trade was at a standstill. October settled .32 lower at 125.02; December ended .07 lower at 128.65.
Feeder cattle trended 17 to 27 points lower as light pressure held throughout the complex. The combination of lackluster movement in the live pit as well as renewed buyer support in corn futures helped to limit buyer interest. Trader interest remained sluggish through the close. September ended .20 lower at 156.40, and October was down .27 at 157.77.
Feeder cattle receipts at the Tri State Livestock Auction at MC Cook, Nebraska totaled 4400 head-on Monday. Compared to two weeks ago, steers were steady to 7.00 lower. Heifers trended 1.00 to 4.00 higher. The demand was good on all weights. 662 head of feeder steers averaging 524 pounds traded at 195.59 per hundredweight. 176 heifers averaging 528 brought 172.48.
Lean hogs settled 2 to 32 points lower. Moderate losses developed through the lean pit despite the fact that overall fundamentals have changed very little. Traders were more focused on a short term market correction than a long term shift in direction. October settled .02 lower at 90.85, and December was down .07 at 87.55.
There was moderate hog market activity and demand on Tuesday. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 1.15 higher at 92.41 on a carcass basis, the West was up .91 at 92.02, and the East was .70 lower at 86.03. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady from 82.00 to 83.00. Terminal hogs were steady to a 1.00 to 2.00 higher from 58.00 to 66.00 live.
The pork value was up .85 at 90.74 FOB plant with loins, and picnics responsible for much of the gain while bellies were lower.
As suspected, hog buyers have started the week short bought. Indeed, Monday’s combination of higher negotiated sales and just modest trade volume totals suggests packers may have to support the cash market for at least several more days.
The Tuesday hog slaughter was estimated at 430,000 head, 2,000 more than last week, but 7,000 less than last year.
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