Market News

Cattle futures higher to start the week

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle closed higher ahead of the week’s direct cash business.  Feeders found additional support in the day’s lower move in corn.  February live cattle closed $.85 higher at $157.47 and April live cattle closed $.62 higher at $160.55.  March feeder cattle closed $2.30 higher at $183.27 and April feeders closed $2.15 higher at $187.92. 

Direct cash cattle trade started the week quietly. Showlists are lower across all major feeding areas.  Bids and asking prices didn’t surface on Monday. If this week follows the recent trend, the bulk of the week’s business will take place sometime Thursday or Friday. 

At the Oklahoma National Stockyards, feeder steers and heifers are steady to $4 lower.  Steer calves are steady to $4 lower and heifer calves are $12 to $14, and as much as $19 to $22 lower.  The USDA says demand is light for calves.  Receipts are down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 56% steers and 56% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 600 to 644 pounds brought $184 to $205 and feeder steers 705 to 748 pounds brought $176 to $188.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 558 to 598 pounds brought $167 to $179 and feeder heifers 602 to 648 pounds brought $164 to $176. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for light offerings.  Choice was $.28 lower at $271.44 and Select closed $1.94 lower at $254.49.  The Choice/Select spread is $16.95.  Estimated cattle slaughter was 124,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 6,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed lower, pressured by long-term demand uncertainties and weakness in the cash trade.  February lean hogs closed $.25 lower at $77.57 and April lean hogs closed $.27 lower at $85.45. 

Cash hogs closed mixed with a solid negotiated run.  The cash hog market continues to struggle to find support.  Processors are moving their needed numbers at much lower prices.  While demand overall has been relatively strong, there are concerns that prices could face additional pressure from weaker demand caused by a slowing global economy. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.28 lower with a base range of $63.75 to $74 with a weighted average of $70.62; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.82 higher with a weighted average of $70.74; the Western Corn Belt closed $.89 higher with a weighted average of $70.56; the Eastern Corn Belt closed $.82 lower with a weighted average of $70.73.   

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $4 higher at $60. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $30 to $42.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $54 to $64.  Boars ranged from $15 to $20 and $10 to $13. 

Pork values closed higher – up $.93 at $80.92.  Picnics and butts were sharply higher.  Rib, loins, and hams were higher.  Bellies were sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 489,000 head – up 65,000 on the week and up 37,000 on the year. 

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