Cattle futures lower ahead of cash trade
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were lower ahead of widespread direct business. June live cattle closed $.92 lower at $163 and August live cattle closed $.37 lower at $161.17. August feeder cattle closed $.97 lower at $225.15 and September feeders closed $1.27 lower at $228.37.
Direct cash cattle trade has been slow to develop this week. There was another light round of business on Wednesday with live deals in the South at $170, $2 lower than the previous week’s weighted averages. A handful of heifers were sold in the North at $268 dressed, but again, not enough business to establish a trend. So far this week there’s been very light, scattered business reported across all feeding areas.
At the Interstate Regional Stockyards in Missouri, feeder steers under 600 pounds were unevenly steady, and steers over 600 pounds were steady to $2 lower on a light test. Feeder heifers under 500 pounds were steady to $3 lower. The USDA says demand was good and supply was moderate. Receipts were up on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 53% steers and 21% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 500 to 548 pounds brought $253.50 to $279 and feeder steers 602 to 624 pounds brought $231.50 to $235.75. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 500 to 547 pounds brought $220 to $245 and feeder heifers 550 to 586 pounds brought $215 to $227.
Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for moderate offerings. Choice was $.51 lower at $306.87 and Select was $.35 lower at $284.54. The Choice/Select spread was $22.33. Estimated cattle slaughter was 126,000 head – even on the week and up 4,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day lower on the lack of follow-through buying, the lower midday move in pork, and contracts’ premium to cash. June lean hogs closed $.22 lower at $84.17 and July lean hogs closed $.52 lower at $85.97.
Cash hog closed higher with a huge negotiated run. The cash hog market continues to find strength as processors have gotten more aggressive in their procurement efforts and have been bidding up to move needed numbers. Demand for US pork on the global market has been relatively strong, and that’s helping to provide a little price support. There’s optimism the summer grilling season will also provide a demand boost and provide even more support to prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $3.53 higher with a base range of $66 to $80 with a weighted average of $77.12; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.44 higher with a weighted average of $78.54; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.47 higher with a weighted average of $78.44. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $48. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 lower with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $9 to $18. Barrows and gilts were $3 higher with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $43 to $53. Boars ranged from $15 to $25 and $5 to $10.
Pork values closed lower – down $.35 at $81.74. Bellies and ribs were sharply lower. Loins were lower. Hams were sharply higher, picnics, and butts were all higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 465,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and down 10,000 on the year.