Market News

Some cattle sold for extended delivery

Feedlot country was very slow on Thursday following the active trade on Wednesday. Although cash prices were significantly higher yesterday, it’s probably worth noting many cattle were traded with terms of extended delivery of 15 to 30 days. This fact helps explains why price ranges were relatively wide, especially in parts of the North. High grading cattle for immediate slaughter brought more money than greener cattle scheduled over several weeks. Except for some clean up deals cattle trade may be finished for the week. The cattle kill was estimated at 116,000 head, 6,000 more than last week, and 8,000 greater than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were firm to higher on moderate to fairly good demand and light to moderate offerings. Choice beef was up 1.04 at 222.36, select beef 213.87, up .73.

Chicago Mercantile exchange live cattle contracts settled .60 to 1.50 higher. Strong gains developed early in the session following the strong cash market support Wednesday. April led the complex higher with a $1.50 rally. The move above 119.00 per hundredweight continued to draw buyer activity back into the market, but there is growing concern about just how much long term buyer support can still develop. The price discount to the cash market continues to widen, even though triple digit gains developed through the week. This may bring additional uncertainty as futures and cash trade remain unhinged given the wide price spreads and lack of market relationship, according to DTN analysts.

Feeder cattle finished the session .32 to 1.85 higher with triple digit gains from March through August. The strong follow through support in live cattle futures continued to draw buyer activity into the feeder cattle market.

Feeder cattle receipts at the St. Joseph, Missouri Stockyards totaled 2174 head on Wednesday. Compared to last week steers and heifers traded 2.00 to 5.00 higher with the higher prices paid on 450 to 550 pound steers. The demand was good on all classes of cattle as overall quality was good to very good. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 734 pounds brought 138.23 per hundredweight. 630 pound heifers brought 132.50.

Lean hog futures were mixed to mostly higher from .17 lower to .25 higher, with only April through June lower. The continued strength in cattle markets helped to draw additional buyer activity into the complex.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .58 lower at 66.86 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West was .61 lower at 66.80, and nationally the market is .94 lower at 65.83. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady from 58.00 to 61.00. Illinois direct hogs on a live basis closed steady from 40.00 to 49.00, sows were $1.00 higher from 28.00 to 40.00.

The pork carcass cutout value was down .84 at 81.34 FOB plant.

Though the pork carcass stumbled a bit, the cutout should have an upward seasonal bias over the next several weeks, even possibly getting above $87.00 before the end of April.

The Thursday hog kill was estimated at 441,000 head, 1,000 more than last week, and 58,000 greater than last year.

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