The feedlot cattle trade remained at a standstill on Tuesday afternoon with some not expecting significant business until late in the week. Asking prices seemed to be firming in the wake of sharply higher futures. Most showlists appear to be priced around 158.00 plus in the South and 250.00 plus in the North. The kill totaled 117,000 head, 1,000 more than last week, but 4,000 less than last year.
Boxed beef cutout values were sharply higher in the afternoon report on good demand and moderate offerings. Choice beef was up 2.28 at 252.80 and select was 1.71 higher at 245.79.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 155 to 300 points higher with the August finishing with limit gains. This kept front month futures from moving to new contract highs, but the momentum seen in the market could easily draw additional buyers back into the market on Wednesday, sparking another aggressive round of buying. There was very little new direction seen in the market, although the focus through the session was once again being paced on the ability to sustain strong summer demand and raise questions about the ability to gain access to market ready cattle over the near term. August settled 3.00 higher at 155.95, and October was up 2.62 at 157.87.
Feeder cattle settled 242 to 300 points higher with all remaining 2014 contracts locked limit up. The continued pressure in the corn market as well as expectations that cattle and beef supplies will continue to tighten through the late summer and early fall created a swarm of buyer interest into the market. August settled at 216.02, and September at 216.77 with both up the 3.00 limit.
Feeder cattle receipts at the Oklahoma National Stockyards on Monday totaled 5700 head. Steer and heifer calves were weak in a light test. The demand was good for most all classes. Quality was typical of the summer and plain and average. Feeder steer calves medium and large 1 weighing 550 to 600 pounds ranged from 241.00 to 250.00. 650 to 700 pound yearlings brought 223.00 to 234.00. 500 to 575 pound heifer calves traded from 226.00 to 235.00. 650 to 700 pound yearling heifers’ brought209.00 to 216.00.
Lean hogs settled unchanged to 247 higher. The early pressure in the lean pit was quickly replaced by moderate to strong gains following the limit higher moves in the cattle complex. August settled 2.47 higher at 127.57 and October was up .75 at 113.45.
Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 1.63 lower at 126.02 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West was down 1.52 at 125.97, and the East was .63 lower at 125.94. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady from 119.00 to 122.00. Midwest barrows and gilts were fully steady on a live basis from 89.00 to 96.00.
The pork carcass cutout value was 1.15 lower at 133.84 FOB plant. The belly primal was responsible for much of the loss, down over 10.00.
While the belly primal calculated sharply lower again on Tuesday in light volume, the speed bump looks temporary with good seasonal strength expected to continue for another two to three weeks. Furthermore, sources in the ham trade continued to be impressed with the potential for third-quarter ham demand.
The hog kill was estimated at 398,000 head, 1,000 more than last week, but 2,000 less than last year.