Hog futures show gains on higher midday pork values

The cash cattle trade was at a standstill on Wednesday afternoon with just a few bids reported in parts of the North at 240.00. A few cattle sold in Iowa at 150.00 on a live basis. Asking prices remain firm at 149.00 to 150.00 in the South, and 242.00 to 243.00 in the North. Significant trade volume could develop on Thursday if packers and feedlot managers decide to complete business before the long holiday weekend. The kill totaled 115,000 head, 2,000 below last week, and 6,000 smaller than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were higher on moderate to fairly good demand and moderate offerings. Choice beef gained .89 at 223.75, select 214.47 up 1.33.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 41 points higher to 10 lower with only 2015 contracts in the red. A narrow price range defined the live cattle complex as traders seemed uninterested in stepping into the market at this point in the week. Traders looked for increased support from outside markets as well as potential beef value support. There was some late short covering in the live pit.  April settled .47 higher at 145.75, and June was up .20 at 135.60.

Feeder cattle ended the session 2 to 40 points higher but were unable to show much life through much of the session. DTN’s Rick Kment says, overall traders seemed to be overlooking the cattle market in favor of hanging out on the sidelines as mere observers. April settled .02 higher at 179.25 and May was up .12 at 179.90.

Continue reading “Hog futures show gains on higher midday pork values” »

Pork donations benefit foodbanks

Just ahead of Easter, Ohio pork producers, with support from the Ohio Association of Meat Processors and the Ohio Corn Marketing Program have donated over 16,000 pounds of pork to two area foodbanks.

6,500 pounds of pork has been donated to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and another 10,000 pounds donated to The Foodbank, Inc. in Dayton.

The donations will provide meals to more than 82,000 families.

Since 2009 Ohio pig farmers have donated more than 1 million pork meals to Ohio’s foodbanks.

Mandatory reporting of PEDv considered

The executive director of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians says his organization does not have a position on mandatory reporting of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus in pigs but believes it could help. PEDv is currently not a reportable animal disease but Tom Burkgren tells Brownfield Ag News the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working on a plan to require it. He says the association may support a plan, depending on its details, “If mandatory reporting comes in and it’s a useful tool then, I think, as an industry we will support that. Just as well as we would support anything that would help us get a handle on the virus and getting rid of the virus.”

Burkgren says the association is giving the USDA input and prefers a system that protects farmers’ data, “We certainly don’t want a data collection that’s going to put any more stress on producers or veterinarians that there already is from PED.”

Pork industry groups have been urging producers to volunteer their premise identification in the event PED affects their farms. Burkgren says “the devil’s in the details” but mandatory reporting could help with PEDv eradication and control. It is known to be present in 29 states.

Interview with Tom Burkgren (12:00 mp3)

Wednesday midday cash livestock markets

The cash cattle market is off to a slow start on Wednesday with feedlot operators passing on bids of 240.00 in Nebraska, however a few head reportedly were sold there at 242.00 per hundredweight to a regional packer on Tuesday. Packer inquiry should slowly improve today and we should at least start to see some definition in terms of preliminary bids. Current asking prices are around 149.00 to 150.00 South and 242.00 plus in the North.

Boxed beef cutout values are higher in the morning report, with choice beef .30 higher at 233.16, and select 213.96 up .82.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Ozarks Regional Stockyards at West Plains, Missouri totaled 2643 head on Tuesday. Compared to last week, feeder steers weighing less than 550 pounds were steady to 2.00 lower, heavier weights trended 2.00 to 3.00 higher. The bulk of the feeder heifers were steady to 3.00 higher with most of the gain on the weights over 500 pounds. Yearlings were not well tested but the undertone was slightly higher. The demand was good on a moderate supply. Feeder steers, medium and large 1 averaging 472 pounds brought 225.99 per hundredweight. 518 pound heifers averaged 198.62.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota and Eastern direct trade are not reported due to confidentiality. Nationally the market is 2.12 lower with a weighted average of 114.67 on a carcass basis. The Western trade is down 3.22 at 114.12. Missouri direct base carcass meat price is steady to 3.00 lower from 111.00 to 112.00. Market hogs in the Midwest are steady with an instance of 2.00 lower on a live basis from 81.00 to 96.00.

The pork carcass cutout value FOB plant is 2.38 higher at 124.11.

Seasonally, market hog numbers typically tighten from spring through midsummer. While the exact level of PED death loss through the winter will impact the pace of tightening, market hog supplies will tighten regardless of PED.

Illinois corn and cattle producers coexist well

An Illinois beef industry leader says cattle and corn farmers in the state complement each other very well, no matter what the market is. Illinois Beef Association Executive Vice President Reid Blossom says cattlemen are enjoying a strong market because of high demand and tight supply. He says beef producers also co-exist quite well with those in the state who grow corn.

“Feeding cattle in Illinois complements the production of ethanol and corn fuels by making use of those byproducts coming out of some of these ethanol plants, namely those distillers grains that can go into cattle rations,” said Blossom, in an interview with Brownfield Ag News.

The Illinois Corn Growers Association released analysis indicating the state’s economy ebbs and flows with the price of corn, a cattle producers biggest input. Blossom says the two facets of agriculture need each other and get along quite well.

“Because we complement each other so well within our industry, there’s always room in Illinois for corn producers and cattlemen to both get ahead at the same time,” he said.

Blossom adds that those who raise cattle and those who raise corn are often the same people.

AUDIO: Reid Blossom (5 min. MP3)

USMEF questions sustainability of Mexican market

U.S. beef exports to Mexico are strong so far this year, but there are questions about whether it can continue. The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) says the value of beef shipped to Mexico from the U.S. is up 40 percent. However, Meat Export Federation Regional Director Chad Russell says that level may be difficult to sustain.

“I think that the price point and the high prices of beef will still create challenges on behalf of the normal Mexican consumer being able to afford those cuts,” said Russell, in comments provided by the USMEF.

Mexican beef production suffered from the same drought affecting Texas and the Southwestern U.S. Plus, Russell says Mexico shipped a lot of their feeder cattle to the U.S.

“If our prices of U.S. beef were at historical levels, it would be great opportunity to ship more product down [to Mexico], but the problem is is our prices are not at that level at this point,” he said.

U.S. pork exports to Mexico are also strong so far in 2014 with 36 percent of Mexico’s market share.

Pork was lower and beef was higher on Tuesday

Cattle country was quiet on Tuesday afternoon with bids and asking prices not well defined. DTN reports they have heard of a few showlists priced around 149.00 to 150.00 in the South, and 242.00 243.00 plus in the North. The new showlists distributed on Monday are generally smaller than last week with only Kansas offering more ready steers and heifers. The cattle slaughter was estimated at 118,000 head, the same as last week, but 3,000 less than 2013.

Boxed beef cutout values are higher on moderate demand and light to moderate offerings. Choice beef is up .34 at 222.86, and select is 1.09 higher at 213.14.

Live cattle futures contracts settled 7 to 75 points lower on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Monday. The focus in the trade was the recent gains in corn futures as well as the market shift in the lean hog complex. Higher boxed beef values at midday gave the market a boost back from session lows. April was .07 lower at 145.27, and June settled .45 lower at 135.47.

Feeder cattle settled 15 to 77 lower. Losses developed in the feeder pit on the lack of support in live cattle futures and gains in the grain prices. Trade volume on Tuesday was very light. When corn dipped lower in most contracts and boxed beef prices were quoted as higher feeders found some support and closed at the day’s highs. April settled .77 lower at 179.22, and May was down .65 at 179.77.

Continue reading “Pork was lower and beef was higher on Tuesday” »

Nutritional needs still important

After a challenging winter, now is not the time to forget about the nutritional needs of beef cows.

And while it might be tempting to put cows on grass, John Grimes, Extension beef coordinator at Ohio State University says it may not provide what the cow needs.

“Across the country the number one month to calve is March and second is April,” said Grimes so depending on the age of the cow, you’ve got maybe 2-year old cows or young cows that are coming through the winter in less than ideal body condition, they’ve calved, they’re starting to lactate and hopefully we can get them in shape to get them bred really quick and then we’re probably not giving them everything they need if we’re just depending on grass.”

Grimes says that hopefully producers have done a good job of managing their hay and still have some good quality hay to feed.

“Because if you’ve got lesser quality hay now I would be very concerned about that meeting the needs of the average cow out there,” said the Extension beef coordinator. “So we may have to do some supplementation whether through grain, by-products or keeping them more confined and making them eat some hay just to meet their needs.”

Grimes says the overall goal is for cows to have a Body Condition Score of 5 to 6 during critical production times.

Audio: John Grimes, Extension beef coordinator, Ohio State University (3:45 mp3)

Tuesday midday cash livestock prices

Cattle country is quiet on Tuesday with bids and asking prices not well defined. DTN reports they have heard of a few showlists that have been priced around 149.00 to 150.00 in the South, and 243.00 plus in the North. The new showlists distributed on Monday are generally smaller than last week with only Kansas offering more ready steers and heifers. The historically strong basis in the cattle market remains a sales incentive, while large discounts on summer live futures continue to temper deferred price expectations.

Boxed beef cutout values are higher in the morning report. Choice beef is up .95 at 223.47, and select is 2.09 higher at 214.08.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Oklahoma National Stockyards on Monday totaled 5714 head. Compared to last week, feeder cattle and calves were mostly steady, with instances of 1.00 higher on cattle suitable for grass. There is continuing good demand for all classes of feeders. The quality of cattle offered was plain to average. Yearling feeder steers, medium and large 1weighing 650 to 700 pounds traded from 187.50 to 198.50. Yearling heifers weighing 650 to 700 pounds brought 167.50 to 178.50.

Barrow and gilt prices in all three direct trade areas are not reported due to confidentiality. Nationally the market is 1.91 lower with a weighted average of 116.00 on a carcass basis. The Missouri direct base carcass meat price is 2.00 to 5.00 lower from 112.00 to 114.00. Terminal hogs are steady to 1.00 higher to 2.00 lower from 81.00 to 96.00 on a live basis.

The pork carcass cutout value FOB plant in the morning report is down 1.66 at 122.75.

This year’s late arrival of Easter has probably been a factor in the defensive wholesale meat in recent weeks. But now that retailers can see beyond Lent, buying interest should start to improve.

Hog slaughter last week totaled 2.02 million head, down 2.8% from 2013 and generally supporting the relative bearish supply implications of the March 1 Hog and Pig report.

 

Hog and cattle slaughter is lighter than last week

The main item of business in cattle country on Monday was the distribution of the new showlists. This week’s offering of cattle is generally lower with the exception of Kansas which is showing more cattle for sale. Bids and asking prices are not well defined, private sources say some early asking prices are around 149.00 to 150.00 in the South and 242.00 plus in the North. The kill was estimated by USDA at 110,000 head, 5,000 less than last week and down 11,000 from last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were firm on choice and weak on select on moderate to fairly good demand and moderate offerings. Choice boxed beef was .40 higher at 222.52, and select was down .41 at 212.05.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled10 to 50 points higher with only October lower. Movement in the live cattle futures was narrow and slow to develop as traders focused on the potential of firming beef values through the week based on upcoming demand growth. Traders looked for some support from traditional seasonal market rallies that could help to sustain current price levels. But futures closed off the day’s highs. April was up .50 at 145.35, and June was up .12 at 135.90.

Feeder cattle contracts settled 2 to 50 points higher. Overall volume in the complex was light, which allowed the traders to focus on both the outside markets direction as well as the recent stability in the live cattle complex. April settled .50 higher at 180.00 and May was up .35 at 180.32.

Continue reading “Hog and cattle slaughter is lighter than last week” »