Cash trade supports cattle futures

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were higher Friday, supported by Thursday’s cash trade and improved buying interest, for not only cash, but also wholesale and futures. Also, contracts are at a discount to the bulk of the recent cash trade. June was up $1.60 at $147.60 and August was $1.57 higher at $146.62.

Feeder cattle futures were sharply higher on expectations for continued tight market ready numbers. August was $2.30 higher at $208.15 and September was up $2.20 at $208.15.

Direct cash trade Friday was limited to clean-up activity at $150 Live and $236 to $238 Dressed, mostly in Nebraska, with a few live sales at $150 in Kansas. On Thursday, trade in Nebraska was at $149 to mostly $150 Live and $238 Dressed, and business in Texas and Kansas was primarily at $148 Live. On Monday, showlists are expected to be priced higher, around $150+ Live in the South and $240+ Dressed in the North.

Boxed beef was firm to higher on moderate demand and light to moderate offerings. Choice was up $.98 at $231.87 and Select was $.12 higher at $223.72. The estimated cattle slaughter of 113,000 head was down 7,000 on the week and 11,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were mixed, mostly higher, on spread trade and spillover from cattle. Cash trade had a mixed tone and the cutout value gave back a good chunk of Thursday’s gain. June was $.07 lower at $115.90 and July was $1.07 higher at $127.00.

Cash hogs were mixed in a relatively quiet end to the week. Packers cut back their kills, market ready numbers are at least somewhat tighter, and there’s a fair amount of uncertainty about pork demand and the impact of PEDv. The Eastern Cornbelt was $1.31 higher at $110.81 to $116 for a weighted average of $112.97, the Western Belt was up $.01 at $105 to $118 with an average of $116.45, and Iowa/Southern Minnesota was down $.16 at $105 to $118 for an average of $116.50. National Direct barrows and gilts were unchanged at $105 to $118 with an average of $114.70. Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $74 to $80. Missouri Direct butcher trade was steady at $102 to $110 with supply and demand both called light to moderate. Missouri sows were steady at $64 to $77.

The pork carcass cutout value was down $1.77 at $121.68. That’s with ribs and butts higher and all other primals lower. The estimated hog slaughter of 299,000 head was down 20,000 on the week and 42,000 on the year.

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