Market News

Cattle futures lower heading into Friday

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day lower on profit-taking, watching corn, and the direct business. August live cattle closed $1.47 lower at $122.57 and October live cattle closed $1.40 lower at $127.57.  August feeder cattle closed $1.55 lower at $157.65 and September feeder cattle closed $1.72 lower at $161.15. 

It was a quiet Thursday for direct cash cattle trade activity following the active day on Wednesday.  Bids were at $121 live in the South and $125 live in the North.  Asking prices held firm at $123 live in the South and $200 dressed in the North.  Look for more business to develop over the balance of the week. 

At the Mobridge Livestock Exchange in South Dakota, there was no price comparisons available, but the USDA says demand was very good for the offering of attractive yearling steers and heifers.  The yearlings were off short-grass pastures and in very attractive, light flesh condition.  There were several load lots and multi-load lots.  The market was active.  The drought concerns are ongoing and pushing a lot of cattle to market earlier than normal and at lighter weights.  Feeder supply included 85% steers and 90% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 800 to 843 pounds brought $158.50 to $160 and feeder steers 955 to 968 pounds brought $149.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 545 pounds brought $162.50 and feeder heifers 960 pounds brought $139.50.

Boxed beef closed sharply higher on good demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $3.24 higher at $292.58 and Select is $2.62 higher at $273.77.  The Choice/Select spread is $18.81. Estimated cattle slaughter is 121,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and up 3,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mostly lower, pressured by the recent weakness in cash business.  August lean hogs were unchanged at $109.47 and October lean hogs closed $3.00 lower at $87.12. 

Cash hogs closed sharply lower with a fairly light negotiated run.  The industry continues to monitor a couple of things – the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts and the demand strength on the global market and domestically.  The strong demand has helped provide price support and that is expected to continue.  However, if a disruption to demand would occur, it would likely negatively impact prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.75 lower with a base range of $98 to $105 and a weighted average of $99.91; the Iowa/Minnesota was $2.63 lower with a weighted average of $102.32 and the Western Corn Belt dropped $2.61 with a weighted average of $102.03.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash market were $3 higher at $73.

Pork values closed firm – up $.13 at $123.12.  Butts were sharply higher.  Ribs, picnics, and loins were also higher.  Bellies were lower and hams were sharply lower.  Estimated hog slaughter 468,000 head – down 6,000 on the week and down 12,000 on the year. 

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