Cash cattle sell for record high prices

The cash cattle market was quiet on Friday afternoon and business was essentially completed for the week. Trade volume totals remained rather modest and the assumption can be made that area packers are formulating enough cattle to at least cover short term slaughter needs. It has been quite a week with both live and dressed sales marked as much as 10.00 higher than the previous week with price levels in all regions shattering the record highs established a few weeks ago. Live sales ended the week 161.00 to 165.00 and dressed sales at 257.00 to 262.00. The weekly cattle kill was estimated at 571,000 head, 6,000 smaller than last week, and 69,000 head less than 2013.

The cattle on feed report appears to be generally neutral, coming in close to expectations. On feed numbers were down 2%, placements in June off 6% and June marketing’s down 2%. For more on the story and analysis visit the news section of the website.

Boxed beef cutout values were higher on moderate demand and light offerings. Choice beef was up 1.82 at 257.38 and select was 1.49 higher at 254.33.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 70 to 255 higher. Strong gains were seen in front month August futures as traders focused on the strong fundamental support seen through the complex .Futures once again set new historical records due to the explosive action in the cash market and technical buying August settled 2.55 higher at 159.10 and October was up 1.75 at 159.80.

Feeder cattle ended the session 92 to 152 points higher as moderate to strong buyer support redeveloped in the feeder cattle futures despite mixed trade activity early in the session. The focus on the cattle on feed and cattle inventory reports helped to drive prices higher. August settled .92 higher at 218.25 and September was up 1.20 at 219.25.

Feeder cattle receipts at Missouri auctions this week totaled 17,342 head. Compared to last week, feeders sold steady to 5.00 higher, with several mid-weight calves fully 10.00 higher. Markets started the week very mixed and few local auctions quoted sharply lower prices, others wasted no time in starting the week’s price rally with several posting instances of 10.00 to 15.00 higher. The supply was light to moderate and demand was good to very good. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 619 pounds averaged 243.28 per hundredweight. 624 pound heifers brought 223.69.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .72 lower at 125.56 weighted average carcass basis, the West was down .54 at 125.40 and the East was 1.10 lower at 122.42. Barrows and gilts at Midwest markets were steady from 88.00 to 96.00. Missouri direct base carcass met price closed steady from 116.00 to 122.00

Lean hogs settled 100 higher to 72 points lower as the early support in the lean hog futures market was unable to hold as pressure developed in the nearby contracts. Once short covering was accomplished, the market once again felt a vacuum of buyer interest. August settled .42 higher at 123.62, and October was down .62 at 107.27.

The pork carcass cutout value was .48 higher at 131.79 FOB plant.

The weekly hog slaughter was estimated at 1,862,000 head, 29,000 more than last week, but 128,000 less than last year.

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