Cash, hog futures sharply lower to end the week
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were sharply lower on technical selling and concerns about a government shutdown. October live cattle closed $2.30 lower at $184.20 and December live cattle closed $2.50 lower at $187.92. October feeder cattle closed $2.25 lower at $252.47 and November feeders closed $2.77 lower at $254.90.
It was a quiet Friday for direct cash cattle trade activity. There was a light to moderate trade that took place on Wednesday and Thursday. For the week Northern dressed deals had a range of $288 to $293, mostly $290 to $291, $1 to $2 lower than prior week’s weighted average basis. Southern live deals were marked at $182 to $183, mostly $183, fully steady with the previous week’s business.
At the Ogallala Livestock Auction in Nebraska, heifers were $5 to $10 lower. The UDSA says demand was good to moderate. Receipts were up on the week and down from year-ago. Feeder supply included 71% steers and 95% of the offerings was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 860 to 878 pounds brought $269.50 to $273 and feeder steers 903 to 941 pounds brought $231 to $245.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 651 to 689 pounds brought $246.50 to $265 and feeder heifers 808 to 826 pounds brought $231 to $246.
In Nebraska, alfalfa bales were steady, grass hay was steady to $10 lower. Dehydrated pellets and ground and delivered hay were steady. The UDSA says demand was light to moderate. Tonnage and bales were both down on the week. Alfalfa, good/premium, large rounds brought $200. Alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $170. Cane, large rounds brought $120. Oat, large round brought $130. Prairie/Meadow grass, small squares, brought $8. Prairie/Meadow grass, good, large rounds brought $150 to $170. In the East, Alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $165 to $200. Large squares brought $225. Alfalfa, good, small squares brought $9. Alfalfa, pellets, 17% dehydrated brought $350. Teff, good, small squares brought $9. In the Platte Valley area, good/premium, large rounds brought $205. Alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $160 to $180. Alfalfa, ground, brought $215. Pellets, 17% dehydrated brought $375 to $385. In the West, alfalfa, good, large squares brought $260. Medium squares brought 250. Alfalfa, good, large squares brought $170. Alfalfa, utility/fair, large rounds brought $150. Triticale, large rounds, brought $150. Millet, large rounds, brought $150.
Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for solid offerings. Choice was $.73 lower at $300.78 and Select was $1.40 lower at $276.04. The Choice/Select spread is $24.74. Estimated cattle slaughter was 96,000 head – down 18,000 on the week and down 21,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 11,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and down 34,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures were sharply lower on the bearish quarterly inventory numbers in addition to cash and wholesale pressure. October lean hogs closed $3.75 lower at $80.20 and December lean hogs closed $3.75 lower at $71.77.
Cash hogs closed mostly lower with a light negotiated run. The cash hog market struggled this week. Packers were clear they had needed numbers, and prices reflected that. The only thing that’s been consistent in this market is that it is inconsistent. The Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report showed slightly more hogs on hand than year-ago levels. University of Missouri livestock economist Scott Brown says the report highlights the fact that even with tight and negative margins it’s difficult for the industry to push inventories lower. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.20 lower with a base range of $70 to $78 and a weighted average of $73.56; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.76 lower with a weighted average of $74.95; the Western Corn Belt closed $3.36 lower with a weighted average of $72.19; the Eastern Corn Belt closed $1.11 higher with a weighted average of $74.72.
According to the USDA’s Weekly Feeder Pig Report, early-weaned pigs were $4 per head higher and all feeder pigs were $1 per head higher. Demand was moderate for moderate offerings. The Total Composite cash range for early-weaned pigs was $8 to $31 and a weighted average of $23.10. The Total Composite formula range for early-weaned pigs as $37 to $50 and a weighted average of $32.55. The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $26.81 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $42.11.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $55. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices are $2 lower with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $24 to $35. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $39 to $49. Boars ranged from $20 to $25 and $5 to $10.
Pork values were closed firm – up $.31 at $97.19. Picnics were sharply higher. Bellies, butts, and loins were all higher. Hams and ribs were lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 473,000 head – down 5,000 on the week and up 24,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 208,000 head – up 87,000 on the week and up 97,000 on the year.