The cash cattle trade was at a virtual standstill on Tuesday afternoon with just a few bids at 121.00 reported in the parts of the South. Asking prices are around 125.00 in the South and 196.00 to 198.00 in the North. Significant trade volume will probably be delayed until Thursday or Friday. The slaughter totaled 124,000 head, 1,000 below last week and 3,000 short of 2012. The week to date slaughter at 240,000 head is 1,000 less than last week and down 13,000 head from 2012.
Boxed beef cutout values were steady to weak on light to moderate demand and moderate offerings. Choice beef was down .01 at 193.01, and select was .67 lower at 175.76.
Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 37 to 60 points lower. What started out as narrow losses in live cattle futures through the morning developed into additional aggressive pressure in nearby contracts. However there was a slight recovery ahead of the close and nearby contracts settled above the day’s lows. October was down .37 at 125.17 and December was .57 lower at 128.65.
Feeder cattle settled 100 to 165 points lower with the feeders carrying the brunt of trading losses through the morning with triple digit losses holding across the complex. The focus of the market was split between weaker corn price levels as well as eroding live cattle markets. September settled 1.00 lower at 156.60 and October was down 1.62 at 157.87.
Feeder cattle receipts at the Oklahoma National Stockyards on Monday totaled 6951 head. Compared to last week, feeder steers 3.00 to 5.00 higher, feeder heifers steady to 1.00 higher. The demand for steers was good, especially those weights that will finish next spring. Steer and heifer calves were mostly steady except for a few under 400 pounds 10.00 lower. Feeder steers, medium and large 1 averaging 680 pounds brought 164.16 per hundredweight. 673 pound heifers averaged 153.17.
Lean hogs settled 10 to 115 points lower. Markets bounced back and forth throughout the session Pressure in grain prices continues to develop despite concerns of eroding crop conditions in the weekly reports. Lower grain prices could lead to expansion in the hogs and that weighed on futures. October settled 1.15 lower at 90.97, and December was down .95 at 87.52.
There was slow market activity with light demand in the cash hog market on Tuesday. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .99 higher at 97.23 on a carcass basis, the West was 1.22 higher at 96.88, and the East was down .04 at 91.94. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was mostly 4.00 higher from 86.00 to 90.00. Terminal hogs closed steady to 2.00 higher from 61.00 to 68.00 live.
Pork carcass value FOB plant was up 1.90 at 98.61 on a negotiated basis in the afternoon report.
DTN reports some continue to insist on theories to explain why hog numbers are short now but will soon significantly inflate. For example, in March China announced it would require third-party verification for ractopamine-free pork. If fewer hogs are fed ractopamine, it would effectively slow down the flow of hogs to market. On the other hand, it’s possible that extreme summer temps caused early September marketing’s to be delayed until late September or early October.
The Tuesday hog kill was estimated at 435,000 head, 5,000 more than last week, and 1,000 greater than last year.
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