Market News

A quiet day in the markets

A few small cattle deals were reported in Iowa on Wednesday at 133.00 live and 210.00 dressed, but the rest of cattle country was fairly quiet. Asking prices remain around 130.00 plus in the South, and 215.00 plus in the North. It is looking like significant trade volume will be delayed until Thursday or Friday. The kill totaled 111,000 head, 4,000 more than last week, and 6,000 greater than a year ago.

Boxed beef cutout values were steady on choice and higher on select on light to moderate demand and offerings. Choice beef was up .03 at 235.21, and select was 1.47 higher at 229.08

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled mostly higher, up 50 to down 7. Futures bounced higher and lower throughout the session as traders looked for a sense of stability following the choppy market shifts which started to develop earlier in the week.

Feeder cattle settled unchanged to 55 points higher after coming back from midmorning losses as buyer activity stepped back into the market at midday. There was very little market activity seen in the complex and the ability to draw additional players to the table was a challenge.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Ozarks Regional Stockyards West Plains, Missouri, totaled 2168 head on Tuesday. Compared to a week ago, feeder steers traded 3.00 to 6.00 lower with the exception of 5 weight steers which were 5.00 to 10.00 higher. Feeder heifers traded 5.00 to 10.00 lower. The demand was good on a moderate supply. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 689 pounds averaged 169.66 per hundredweight. 509 pound heifers brought 169.00.

Lean hogs settled 32 points higher to 27 lower. Early support seen in the February and April futures was washed away by pressure in deferred contracts. Traders started to focus on the lack of direction for pork values in the morning report and uncertainty about how strong cash markets may be following the higher market moves through the next couple of weeks. There are questions on how the overall economic pullback in world stock markets will impact demand through the spring and summer markets.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .69 higher at 53.33 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West was up .41 at 32.85, and the national market was .11 higher at 52.85. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady at the close from 43.00 to 47.00. Midwest hogs on a live basis steady to 2.00 higher from 32.00 to 40.00.

The pork carcass cutout value was up .17 at 70.65 FOB plant.

The cash hog market surged sharply higher on Tuesday with the weighted average on dressed sales quoted nearly $2.00 higher basis the national report. Furthermore, negotiated volume jumped to 17,004 head, suggesting that buyers are pushing to compensate for tighter numbers and contracts they don’t have.

The Wednesday hog kill was estimated at 438,000 head, 2,000 greater than last week, and 5,000 more than last year.

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