Cattle futures head into midweek under pressure
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day mostly lower, and feeders were lower watching corn and the direct markets. October live cattle closed $.57 higher $146.30 December live cattle closed $.17 higher at $151.07. October feeder cattle closed $2.27 lower at $180.02 and November feeders closed $2.25 lower at $181.27.
It was a relatively quiet Tuesday for direct cash cattle trade activity. A handful of deals were reported in Iowa at $227 dressed, but not near enough to establish a trend. Asking prices in the South were at $145 to $146 live, the North, however, was quiet. Expect those to be restated when business gets underway on Wednesday. Significant trade volume will likely develop in the back half of the week.
At the Tri-State Auction in Nebraska, compared to last week, 400-pound steers were steady, steers over 500 pounds were $4 to $10 lower. Heifers were steady to $8 lower. The USDA says demand was good. Most of the offering was bawling calves right off the cow. Receipts were down on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 57% steers and just 8% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 410 to 448 pounds brought $234 to $247 and feeder steers 502 to 537 pounds brought $205 to $221. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 416 to 444 pounds brought $208 to $212 and feeder heifers 458 to 492 pounds brought $173 to $193.
Boxed beef closed mixed with light to moderate demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $.81 lower at $251.64 and Select closed $1.34 higher at $227.23. The Choice/Select spread is $24.41. Estimated cattle slaughter 128,000 head – even on the week and up 6,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day mostly higher, supported by cash and wholesale business during the session. October lean hogs closed $0.50 lower at $95.97 and December lean hogs close $.02 higher at $88.17
Cash hog closed higher and sharply higher with a big negotiated run. Processors were more aggressive in their procurement efforts on Tuesday and bid up to move their desired numbers. Prices reflected that. The industry is monitoring the availability of market-ready hogs and is already looking ahead to next week’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report. Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong, helping provide needed price support. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $5.01 higher with a base range of $84 to $102.50 and a weighted average of $97.17; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $2.12 higher with a weighted average of $99.99; the Western Corn Belt closed $2.23 higher with a weighted average of $99.95. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $4 lower at $66. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $58 to $70. Barrows and gilts were $2 lower with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $61 to $70. Boars ranged from $39 to $41 and $9 to $19.
Pork values closed lower – down $.70 at $105.18. Hams, bellies, and butts were all lower. Picnics, ribs, and loins were firm to higher. The estimated hog slaughter is 485,000 head – up 11,000 on the week and up 22,000 on the year. Monday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 478,000 head.