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Cattle futures lower ahead of direct cash business

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were lower and feeders were mostly lower ahead of the week’s direct business.  October live cattle closed $.70 lower at $143.80 and December lives closed $.90 lower at $149.72.  September feeder cattle closed $.37 lower at $183 and October feeder cattle closed $.40 lower at $185.60. 

It was a quiet Monday for direct cash cattle business.  Bids and asking prices will likely be slow to surface this week.  Showlists are mixed – somewhat higher in Kansas, higher in Nebraska/Colorado, but lower in Texas.  Look for significant trade volume to be delayed until midweek or later.

At the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week, feeder steers and heifers continued to be lightly tested, as the bulk of the sale, so far, has been calves.  A few feeder steers have been offered, running about $2 to $6 higher.  Feeder heifers are steady to $5 higher.  Steer and heifer calves are $4 to $8 higher with instances of $15 higher.  The USDA says demand was very good for all classes of cattle.  Quality has been average to attractive.  Receipts were down on the week and up on the year.  Feeder supply included 56% steers and 43% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 507 to 548 pounds brought $193 to $215 and feeder steers 608 to 644 pounds brought $190 to $203.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 560 to 588 pounds brought $172 to $185 and feeder heifers 608 to 638 pounds brought $169 to $179. 

Boxed beef closed higher on solid demand for light offerings.  Choice closed $1.09 higher at $264.46 and Select closed $.13 higher at $239.72.  The Choice/Select spread is $24.74. Estimated cattle slaughter 124,000 head – up 5,000 on the week and up 6,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day higher, supported by the sharply higher pork values during the session.  However, gains were limited by the lower cash trade.  October lean hogs closed $.55 higher at $100.57 and December lean hogs closed $.47 higher at $90.85. 

Cash hogs closed sharply lower with a light negotiated run.  Processors did not start the week aggressive in their procurement efforts and prices reflected that.  Demand for US pork has been strong both globally and domestically, helping provide price support.  However, some uncertainty surrounding demand has put pressure on the market.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $8.08 lower with a base range of $114.50 to $126 with a weighted average of $115.61; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $9.52 lower with a weighted average of $119.66; the Western Corn Belt closed $9.50 lower with a weighted average of $119.66.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $75. 

Pork values closed higher – up $3.08 at $124.91.  Bellies were sharply higher.  Ribs, hams, butts, and picnics were higher.  Loins closed lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 428,000 head – down 30,000 on the week and down 47,000 on the year.  Friday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 433,000 head and Saturday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 23,000 head. 

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