Market News

Cattle futures higher ahead of widespread direct business

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day higher, waiting for direct cash business to develop.  Feeders were in the lead on the lower move in corn.  June live cattle closed $.25 higher at $169.12 and August lives closed $.50 higher at $167.67.  August feeders closed $1.40 higher at $239.17 and September feeders closed $1.55 higher at $242.22

It was a relatively quiet day for direct cash cattle business.  A few bids did surface at $171 live in the South and $285 dressed in the North.  Asking prices were elusive.  It’s likely significant trade volume will be delayed until sometime Thursday or Friday.

At the Ozarks Regional Stockyards in Missouri, feeder steers and heifers were steady with most weights not well tested.  The USDA says demand was good on a light supply.  There was one sale that stuck out, a small package of 504 pounds that brought $293.  Hay harvest is underway and there are some reports that the first cutting has better yields than last year, but still below average.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 48% steers and 40% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 524 to 532 pounds brought $273 to $285 and feeder steers 827 pounds brought $195.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 439 to 446 pounds brought $232 to $250 and feeder heifers 500 to 549 pounds brought $222.50 to $225. 

Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for moderate offerings.  Choice was $.88 higher at $305.84 and Select closed $.62 lower at $287.15.  The Choice/Select spread is $18.69.  Estimated cattle slaughter was 127,000 head – up 5,000 on the week and down 1,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day higher, supported by cash and wholesale business.  June lean hogs closed $1.75 higher at $82.57 and July lean hogs closed $3.80 higher at $83.32. 

Cash hogs closed sharply higher with a huge negotiated run.  Processors were much more aggressive in their procurement efforts and had to bid up to move needed numbers.  Demand for US pork on the global market has been strong, and that’s been beneficial to prices.  With summer grilling season here, there is optimism domestic demand will see a boost and also provide a little additional price support.  Hog weights are down this week to 281.8 pounds, down 2.2 pounds on the week and down 4.6 pounds on the year. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were $11.47 higher with a base range of $75 to $91.50 with a weighted average of $86.62; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $88.79; the Western Corn Belt closed $8.65 higher with a weighted average of $88.45.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $60. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $10 to $20.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $44 to $54.  Boars ranged from $15 to $25 and $5 to $10. 

Pork values closed higher – up $1.59 at $85.27.  Loins and hams are both sharply higher.  Ribs and picnics were higher.  Bellies and butts were lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 480,000 head – up 8,000 on the week and even on the year. 

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