Packers seem reluctant to step into market
With the exception of a few sales at 128.00 in Kansas feedlot country was generally quiet on Thursday afternoon. Feedlot managers continued to resist lower bids. Beef packers seem reluctant to step in front of a falling market. Accordingly asking prices are difficult to identify at this time. Trade volume so far this week looks no better than moderate, suggesting we should see more trade by the end of the week. Yet bearish psychology could make that very difficult. Cattle slaughter is estimated by USDA at 117.000 head, the same as last week, but 9,000 more than last year at this time.
Boxed beef cutout values are lower in the afternoon report on light to moderate demand and moderate offerings. Choice beef is down 1.29 at 249.74, select 220.53, down .13.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled .55 to 2.00 lower with June through August in the red. Moderate to sharp pressure redeveloped across the live cattle futures with front month June leading the complex lower with a 2.00 loss. The move lower in the front months offset early market gains that moved into the complex. Traders focus was primarily on potential cash activity through the end of the week.
Feeder cattle futures settled mostly .12 to .95 higher with just a couple of far deferred contracts moderately lower. Moves through the complex were choppy with trade moving higher and lower with very little significant reason for the market shifts. Volume was described as light.
Springfield, Missouri Livestock Marketing Center received 1,942 feeder cattle on Wednesday. Steer calves were 5.00 to 7.00 lower than last week, yearling steers 3.00 to 5.00 lower, heifers steady to 5.00 lower. Holsteins compared to three weeks ago, under 600 pounds steady to 3.00 higher, over 600 pounds 5.00 to 8.00 higher. Demand and supply was moderate. Feeder steers medium and large 1, calves weighing 676 pounds brought 146.07 per hundredweight. Large 3 dairy steers weighing 871 pounds brought 91.05. Heifer calves averaging 611 pounds brought 137.15.
Lean hogs settled .10 to 1.47 lower with August down the most. The initial buyer support that stepped into the market quickly eroded as nearby contracts posted losses as much as 1.50 through the morning. July futures took over as the front month contracts but the markets remained lightly traded most of the session and July finished at 82.05, down .52. August fell below the 80.00 threshold creating a bearish market shift in the complex even though fundamental support remained.
Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade are 1.03 higher at 84.66 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West closed up 1.25 at 84.59, and nationally the market was 1.60 higher at 83.87. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady to 3.00 higher from 70.00 to 72.00. Illinois direct hogs on a live basis trended 2.00 higher from 53.00 to 59.00.
The pork carcass cutout value was .17 lower at 94.90 FOB plant.
The hog slaughter was estimated at 433,000 head on Thursday, 7,000 less than last week, but 8,000 more than last year.
For the week ending June 10, Iowa barrows and gilts averaged 279.4 pounds, 1.8 pounds heavier than last week, and 2.5 pounds smaller than 2016.
Hog slaughter was estimated at 433,000 head, 7,000 less than last week, but 8,000 more than last year.
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