Cattle futures lower at midweek
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle are lower, waiting for the rest of the week’s direct business to develop. June live cattle closed $1.50 lower at $131.50 and August live cattle closed $1.77 lower at $131.70. August feeder cattle closed $.97 lower at $165.80 and September feeder cattle closed $.77 lower at $168.45.
There was some very light, scattered direct cash cattle trade on Wednesday. Dressed deals in Nebraska were at $227, fully steady money with Tuesday’s business. Bids in other parts of cattle country were at $142 live and $228 dressed. Asking prices for cattle left on showlists were around $140 live in the South and $228 plus dressed in the North. Additional business is expected develop over the balance of the week. So far this week, Southern live deals have been marked at $137 to mostly $138, about $2 lower than last week’s weighted averages. Northern dressed business has been at mostly $226, $3 lower than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange had an offering of 1,864 head, of which none sold as they did not meet the reserve prices ranging from $133 to $142.
At the Kingsville Livestock Auction in Missouri, compared to last week, feeder steers were uneven, steady to $5 higher. Heifer calves were $3 to $6 lower, yearling heifers were steady to $3 lower. The USDA says demand was good for a moderate supply. There were more yearlings were on hand for buyers to work with, including a couple loads along with several groups of quality calves. Receipts were up on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 52% steers and 48% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 563 to 596 pounds brought $178.50 to $190 and feeder steers 654 to 689 pounds brought $178.50 to $190. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 502 to 546 pounds brought $155 to $165.50 and feeder heifers 723 to 745 pounds brought $150.75 to $154.75.
Boxed beef closed about steady to lower. Choice closed $.01 lower at $260.47 and Select closed $2.17 lower at $246.02. The Choice/Select spread is $14.45. Estimated cattle slaughter 125,000 – even on the week and up 5,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day mixed, adjusting spreads. June lean hogs closed $.95 higher at $106.10 and July lean hogs closed $.77 higher at $108.52.
Cash hogs ended the day higher with a big negotiated run. Processors have been aggressive in their procurement efforts and have been bidding up to move their desired numbers. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Demand for US pork on the global market has been relatively strong, providing price support. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.31 higher with a base range of $98 to $117 and a weighted average of $111.69; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.19 higher with a weighted average of $113.29; the Western Corn Belt closed $.96 higher with a weighted average of $113.99; the Eastern Corn Belt closed $1.43 higher with a weighted average of $107.36.
Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets are steady in Dorchester, WI, and Garnavillo, Iowa at $68. They’re higher at Red Oak, Iowa at $72. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $5 lower with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $58 to $70. Barrows and gilts were steady with light to moderate demand for light to moderate offerings at $65 to $74. Boars ranged from $40 to $50 and $5 to $15.
Pork values closed higher – up $1.50 at $103.61. Butts are sharply higher. Picnics, ribs, loins, and hams are all higher. Bellies are lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 479,000 head – up 3,000 on the week and up 1,000 on the year.