Market News

Cattle futures higher ahead of widespread direct business

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were higher watching corn, and waiting for the week’s direct cash business to develop.  October live cattle closed $.80 higher at $181.30 and December lives closed $.95 higher at $185.55.  September feeders closed $1.55 higher at $251.65 and October feeders closed $1.57 higher at $253.42. 

Direct cash cattle trade was relatively quiet again on Thursday.    Bids and asking prices did finally surface.  Bids were at $175 live in the South and $290 to $292 dressed in the North.  Asking prices started at $180-plus live in the South, while the North has kept its asking prices under wraps.  The distance between the two could set the stage for a standoff and push any significant business until late Friday.  So far this week there’s just been some light, scattered business reported in the North.  Dressed deals have been at $294 in Nebraska and in Iowa deals were at $183 to $186 live.  None of these have been enough business to establish an accurate price trend. 

At the Mitchell Livestock Auction in South Dakota, there weren’t a lot of comparable weights of steers and heifers, but there were instances of $4 to $8 higher on steers and $5 higher on heifers.  The USDA says demand was very good for the nice offering of yearling steers and heifers with many full loads and multiple load lots.  The market was active and quality, attractive steers were met with strong demand.  Receipts were up on the week and down on the year.  Feeder supply included 49% steers and 98% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 860 to 892 pounds brought $233.50 to $243.50 and feeder steers 982 pounds brought $237.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 873 to 894 pounds brought $223.50 to $225.50 and feeder heifers 903 to 912 pounds brought $216 to $219.10. 

Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for moderate offerings.  Choice was $1.19 lower at $302.01 and Select closed $.84 higher at $278.31.  The Choice/Select spread is $23.70. Estimated cattle slaughter was 123,000 head – down 3,000 on the week and down 1,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed lower on long-term demand uncertainties and a weak export sales report.  October lean hogs closed $2.82 lower at $82.05 and December lean hogs closed $2.32 lower at $74.55.  

Cash hogs closed sharply lower with a fairly light negotiated run.  After an aggressive start to the week, processors really pulled back on their procurement efforts.  Demand remains crucial to price support.  While it has been strong on the global market, this week’s export sales report showed significant declines.  Domestic demand could start seeing some pressure as summer grilling begins to wind down. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.32 lower with a base range of $93 to $107 and a weighted average of $100.55; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $3.19 lower with a weighted average of $99.77; the Western Corn Belt closed $2.35 lower with a weighted average of $100.16; no comparison in the Eastern Corn Belt but a weighted average of $101.64. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady in Dorchester, Wisconsin at $69 and higher in Red Oak, Iowa at $68.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 higher with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $39 to $51.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $60 to $70.  Boars ranged from $5 to $10 and $15 to $25. 

Pork values closed sharply higher – up $4.00 at $115.63.  Bellies closed more than $22 higher.  Ribs, hams, and picnics were higher to sharply higher.  Butts and loins were lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 470,000 head – up 10,000 on the week and up 2,000 on the year. 

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