Market News

Strong close in cattle futures

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were sharply higher, most up $3, on technical momentum, some higher cash business, and spillover from a fully limit up move in feeders. August was $3.00 higher at $117.87 and October was up $3.00 at $117.82

Feeder cattle futures gained the $4.50 daily trading limit on the lower corn, technical buying, and expectations for generally cheaper feed supplies. August closed at $151.75 and September ended the day at $151.67.

By Wednesday afternoon, direct cash trade developed mainly at $120 on the live basis in Kansas, Nebraska, and Texas, up $2 from most of last week’s business. Bids were reported at $120 live and $186 to $187 dressed with asking prices around $122+ live and $190 to $192 Dressed.

The Fed Cattle Exchange had an offering of 2,665 head, 1,907 of which sold. 667 sold for 1 to 9 day delivery with a weighted average of $117.80, 580 head sold for 1 to 17 day delivery with an average of $118.45, and 660 head for 17 to 30 day delivery had a weighted average of $117.34. The next sale is scheduled for July 19th.

Boxed beef closed sharply lower on light to moderate demand for heavy offerings. Choice was down $2.55 at $212.69 and Select was $1.78 lower at $198.73. The estimated cattle slaughter was 118,000 head, a decrease of 1,000 from a week ago, but up 4,000 from a year ago.

Lean hog futures were mixed, with nearby contracts supported by a higher move at midday in the pork carcass cutout value. Also, most of those months have at least some discount to the cash index. July was up $.42 at $92.57 and August was $.37 higher at $82.62.

Cash hogs were mostly steady to weak. Market ready numbers continue to be relatively tight and pork demand is strong, but both are headed for some negative seasonal trends. If the latest hogs and pigs report was any indication, herd expansion should get underway later this month or early next month. The average Iowa/Southern Minnesota hog weight for the week ending July 8th was 278.0 pounds, up 0.6 on the week, but down 0.3 on the year.

Iowa/Southern Minnesota direct barrows and gilts closed $.30 lower at $85.50 to $88.50 for a weighted average of $87.51, the Western Cornbelt was down $.64 at $82 to $88.50 with an average of $87.17, and national direct business was $.02 lower at $82 to $88.50 for an average of $86.86. The Eastern Cornbelt had no recent comparison with a range of $82 to $88.25 and a weighted average of $86.61. Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets were steady to $2 lower at $57 to $53. Missouri direct butchers were steady to $1 higher at $81 to $82 on light to moderate supply and demand. Sows were $5 higher at $45 to $62. Illinois direct sows were firm at $54 to $66 on very good demand for heavy offerings. Barrows and gilts were firm at $57 to $63 on good demand for moderate offerings. Boards ranged from $10 to $45.

Pork closed $.56 higher at $105.82. Butts, picnics, bellies, and ribs were higher, with ribs up $8.18, while loins and hams were lower. The estimated hog slaughter was 440,000 head, up 10,000 on the week and 14,000 on the year.

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