Market News

Showlists look generally larger than last week

This week’s cattle showlists were distributed on Monday and the new offering appears to be mixed, larger in the South and smaller in the North. Overall ready numbers look somewhat larger than last week. Early guesses are that the initial asking prices will be around 130.00 plus in the South and 212.00 to 214.00 in the North. After last week’s only moderate cattle trade packers could be short bought by Wednesday or Thursday. The kill was estimated at 116,000 head, even with last week, but 7,000 more than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values ended the day firm on choice and weak on select on light to moderate demand and light offerings. Choice beef 233.76, up .33, select 213.97, down .51.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled .12 to .82 higher with only the April contracts down .42. Mixed trade was evident for much of the session, although most contracts expanded. Firm buyer support steadily gained momentum in the June through February contracts.

Feeder cattle ended the session .15 to .90 higher but off the day’s highs. April through August contracts had seen triple digit gains through the late morning but were unable to hold those gains through the close, as buyer support seen earlier failed to hold.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Joplin, Missouri Regional Stockyards on Monday totaled 7,000 head. Compared to last week, steer calves weighing less than 500 pounds traded 2.00 to 5.00 higher, over 500 pounds were steady, heifer calves 1.00 to 4.00 higher, yearling steers 1.00 to 3.00 higher, yearling heifers were steady on a light early test. Demand was good on a moderate supply’ Feeder steers medium and large 1 weighing 550 to 600 pounds traded from 153.00 to 164.00 per hundredweight. Feeder heifers weighing 550 to 600 pounds brought 129.00 to 142.00.

Lean hogs settled .52 lower to .27 higher. The April contract saw gains at midday but were unable to hold on the positive side after moderate pressure returned. Fall and winter contracts closed moderately higher. Buyers slowly moved back into the market following the triple-digit losses late last week.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .52 higher at 66.59 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West was up .57 at 66.50, and nationally the market was .42 higher at 65.56. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady to 1.00 lower from 58.00 to 60.00. Illinois direct trade hogs on live basis closed steady from 40.00 to 48.00, sows were 1.00 higher from 28,00 to 42.00.

The pork carcass cutout value was down .14 at 81.46 FOB plant.

Ham prices look to firm a bit over the next 10 to 14 days heading into the Easter time frame. This prospect, in addition to expectations for decent fresh loin sales, explains why overall carcass value is forecast to move modestly higher through the balance of March.

Monday’s hog kill was estimated at 441,000 head, 10,000 more than last week, and 57,000 greater than last year.

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