A mixed day of trading for cattle, hog futures
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly lower and feeders were mixed ahead of widespread direct cash business. Feeders did have some support from the day’s mostly lower move in corn. April live cattle closed $.12 lower at $118.37 and June live cattle closed $.42 lower at $115.85. April feeder cattle closed $1.45 higher at $134.20 and May feeder cattle closed $1.40 lower at $135.87.
Direct cash cattle trade was relatively quiet with just a handful of deals reported. Dressed deals were at $190, about $2 lower than the bulk of last week’s business. It’s likely significant trade volume will be delayed until midweek or later. Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange has an offering of over 2,500 head with cattle from Iowa, Nebraska, and Texas.
At the Callaway Livestock Auction in Missouri, compared to last week steer calves under 550 pounds were lightly tested, but sold with a lower undertone, 550 to 600 pounds were $8 to $10 lower with spots of $12 lower, with 600 to 700 pounds were not well tested, and steers 700 to 750 pounds were $3 lower. Feeder heifers 450 to 600 pounds were $2 to $5 lower. The USDA says there were a lot of new crop calves weighing 400 to 600 pounds were met with light to moderate demand. The best demand was on 700 to 750 pounds steers. Receipts were down on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 62 percent steers and 41 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 702 to 762 pounds brought $135 to $145.50 and feeder steers 957 pounds brought $128.35. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 457 to 475 pounds brought $151 to $154.
Boxed beef closed sharply higher on strong demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $5.79 higher at $290.99 and Select closed $5.18 higher at $279.53. The Choice/Select spread is $11.46. Estimated cattle slaughter is 121,000 head – even on the week and up 46,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day mostly lower on spread adjustments and profit-taking, shrugging off the sharply higher pork values and cash business during the session. May lean hogs closed $.55 higher at $109.80 and June lean hogs closed $.17 lower at $106.67.
Cash hogs closed sharply higher with a big negotiated run. Packers continue their aggressive procurement efforts, bidding up to move their desired numbers. They’re also keeping an eye on the availability of market-ready hogs. The strong demand for US pork has been very supportive to prices, and that’s expected to continue. While daily slaughter totals are significantly higher than year-ago levels, which declined due to the COVID-related disruptions, they are slightly below recent trends. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $5.39 higher with a base range of $104.50 to $118 with a weighted average of $113.10; the Iowa/Minnesota are $4.04 higher with a weighted average of $115.31; the Western Corn Belt closed $4.01 higher with a weighted average of $115.17. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $64.
Pork values closed $1.38 higher at $110.68. Loins, hams, ribs, and bellies were all higher. Butts were about steady, and picnics were lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 486,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and up 205,000 on the year. Monday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 483,000 head.