Cattle futures higher ahead of Friday’s On Feed numbers
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day higher watching corn and waiting for Friday’s On Feed numbers. The report looks neutral to bullish because of tighter numbers and the current strong demand. June live cattle closed $1.07 higher at $117.67 and August live cattle closed $1.05 higher at $120.92. May feeder cattle closed $1.47 higher at $137.22 and August feeder cattle closed $2.62 higher at $153.70.
Direct cash cattle trade ended the week on a quiet note following a few days of scattered light to moderate business during the week. Southern live deals had a full range of $118 to $120, with the bulk of the week’s business at $119 live, fully steady with last week’s business. Northern dressed deals had a full range of $189 to $193, mostly $191, also fully steady with last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.
At the Valentine Livestock Auction in Nebraska, the USDA says demand was good with several buyers and an active internet auction. Feeder supply included 60% steers and 56% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 607 to 648 pounds brought $161.50 to $173.25 and feeder steers 650 to 695 pounds brought $160 to $171.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 606 to 649 pounds brought $139.50 to $152 and feeder heifers 707 to 746 pounds brought $133 to $144.
According to the USDA’s Missouri Hay Report, hay fields are looking pretty short due to the overall cool weather and more than ample moisture. The supply is moderate and demand is light to moderate. Prices are mostly steady with limited sales. Alfalfa, supreme medium squares brought $200 to $250 FOB. Alfalfa, supreme small squares brought $7 to $10 per bale. Alfalfa, premium medium squares brought $160 to $200 FOB. Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $120 to $160. Alfalfa, good small squares brought $5 to $7. Alfalfa, fair large rounds brought $100 to $125. Alfalfa/grass mix, good/premium small squares brought $6 to $8. Mixed grass, good premium, large rounds brought $80 to $120.
Boxed beef closed higher on good demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $.99 higher at $325.17 and Select closed $.70 higher at $302.31. The Choice/Select spread is $22.86. Estimated cattle slaughter is 119,000 head – up 4,000 on the week and up 16,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 78,000 head – up 16,000 on the week and up 21,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day higher, supported by the recent trend in pork values. June lean hogs closed $1.97 higher at $114.22 and July lean hogs closed $3 higher at $116.50.
Cash hogs closed lower with a light negotiated run. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts. Demand for US pork has been strong on both the global market and domestically and that’s been very supportive to prices recently. The industry expects that to continue. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.99 lower with a base range of $101.68 to $116 and a weighted average of $106.80; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.61 lower with a weighted average $112.77; the Western Corn Belt closed $.90 lower with a weighted average of $112.55. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
This week’s Feeder Pig Report from the USDA has early-weaned pigs steady to week and all feeder pigs were $8 per head lower. Demand was moderate for moderate offerings and receipts included 51% formulated prices. The Total Composite cash range was $35 to $60 with an average of $47.94. The Total Composite formula range was $36.38 to $54.06 with an average of $44.65. The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $46.15 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $79.78.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash market are $2 lower at $73. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices are were weak with moderate demand for light to moderate offerings at $46 to $58. Barrow and gilt prices were steady with good demand for moderate offerings at $75 to $77. Boars ranged from $40 to $45 and $15 to $20.
Pork values closed higher – up $1.64 at $120.86. Butts, picnics, loins, and hams were all sharply higher. Ribs were higher. Bellies were lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 463,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and up 76,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 32,000 head – up 18,000 on the week and down 149,000 on the year.