USDA Mandatory reported cattle trading was limited in Texas on Thursday with a few live sales 3.00 lower than last week at 155.00. Trading was moderate on moderate demand in Kansas, compared to last week live sales were 2.00 lower at mostly 156.00. Trading was moderate in Nebraska on light to moderate demand. Live sales traded mostly 3.00 lower, instances 4.00 lower at 155.00 to 156.00, with dressed sales 1.00 to 4.00 lower from 246.00 to 249.00. The kill totaled 113,000 head, 3,000 below last week, and 12,000 smaller than last year.
Boxed beef cutout values were higher on moderate demand and light to moderate offerings. Choice beef was up 1.60 at 252.17 and select was up 1.26 at 243.52.
Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 150 to 282 points lower as strong market liquidation was evident. Rick Kment at DTN says there are growing questions if this market can recover at some point where the latest market move will be considered a correction, or if this downward swoop will end up breaking the previous market momentum and turn the live cattle market bearish. August settled 2.65 lower at 148.15, and October was down 2.82 at 150.72.
Feeder cattle ended locked the 300 point limit down in all contract months. Feeder futures have led the cattle market higher over the last couple of months, now the roles have been reversed, and given the lack of follow through momentum in the market, the feeder cattle futures are now again leading the market retreat. The main question is what is under the market that will break the fall, as fundamentals have been little changed for the last few weeks. August settled at 210.60 and September at 212.20 both were 3.00 limit lower.
Feeder cattle receipts at the Bassett Livestock Auction in Nebraska totaled 4600 head on Wednesday. Compared to two weeks ago, steers and heifers sold steady to 10.00 higher with the most advance on yearlings. There was a capacity crowd for the annual BBQ auction. Buyers bid readily from start to finish on fall calves and yearling steers and heifers. 425 head of feeder steers medium and large 1 weighing 961 pounds averaged 212.95 per hundredweight. 331 head of heifers weighing 907 pounds traded at 205.79 per hundredweight.
Lean hogs settled 50 to 285 points lower as pressure held throughout the session and buyers were unwilling to step back into nearby contracts. The momentum of the market seemed to be breaking, which is creating a dangerous market situation as tight supplies talked about for the last few months seem powerless to draw the attention of any trader’s ears at this point. July settled .50 lower at 132.80 and August was down 1.65 at 127.95.
There was slow hog market activity with light demand on Thursday afternoon. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 2.40 lower at 129.85 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West was down 2.39 at 128.69, and the East ended the day at 130.01 with no price comparison. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady from 120.00 to 122.00. Hogs at Midwest markets were steady from 86.00 to 92.00 on a live basis.
The pork carcass cutout value was .62 lower at 134.76 FOB plant.
Midsummer hog slaughter is really starting to tank. With Friday’s expected to total no more than 290,000 and nothing scheduled for Saturday, the weekly total is projected to be 1,874,000 head, 8.2% below last week.
Thursday’s hog kill was estimated at 395,000 head, 8,000 less than last week, and down 13,000 from last year.