The cash cattle market was at a standstill on Tuesday afternoon with bids and asking prices poorly defined. Private sources report some showlists have been priced around 150.00 plus in the South, and 240.00 plus in the North on a dressed basis. Significant trade may not develop until the end of the week. The kill totaled 117,000 head, even with last week, but 5,000 less than last year.
Live cattle futures contracts settled 20 to 130 points lower on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday. Aggressive gains in the boxed beef values seemed to have little impact in the nearby or deferred contracts, as most traders seemed to feel that the higher beef prices would be assumed following the recent cash market gains. June settled .95 lower at 146.50 and August was down .72 at 145.72.
Boxed beef cutout values were higher on moderate demand and light to moderate offerings. Choice beef was up 2.56 at 236.80, and select was 3.16 higher at 229.27.
Feeder cattle contracts ended the session 15 to 92 points in the red. Following the lack of support in the live cattle markets, and lackluster interest through the feeder cattle market. Traders appeared to be content with current market positions, and this allowed for nearby prices to erode through the end of the session due to market apathy. The surge in boxed beef prices in the morning report and lower corn values were not enough to entice trader interest. August settled .85 lower at 207.85, and September was down .92 at 208.57.
Feeder cattle receipts at the Oklahoma National Stockyards on Monday totaled 7478 head. Feeder steers were mostly 6.00 to 10.00 higher, with instances of 10.00 to 15.00 more than last week. Heifers were mostly 4.00 to 6.00 higher. Steer calves 8.00 to 10.00 higher. Heifer calves 10.00 to 14.00 higher. Demand was very good for all classes. 316 head of feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 580 pounds brought 241.51 per hundredweight. 140 heifers weighing 526 brought 233.67.
Lean hogs settled mostly 22 to 132 points lower with only front month July in the black. The pressure through the complex had more to do with the lack of trade activity and initial buyer interest running dry than any other significant market signals. July settled .67 higher at 124.92, and August was down .22 at 128.05.
Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .62 higher at 118.07 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West was up .66 at 117.96, and the East was .93 higher at 115.15. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was 1.00 to 4.00 higher from 106.00 to 111.00. Barrows and gilts at Midwest markets were steady to 2.00 from 76.00 to 83.00 on a live basis.
The pork carcass cutout value FOB plant was .62 higher at 123.96 in the afternoon report.
While hog numbers are settling back on a seasonal basis, there is little evidence yet to suggest that a severe shortage of hogs is in the process of developing. Our early guess is that this week’s kill will total close to 1,930,000 head, no less than 2-3% below 2013.
The Tuesday hog kill was estimated at 380,000 head, 30,000 less than last week and down 12,000 from last year.