Cattle futures lower on follow-through selling
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day lower on follow-through selling and the weak start to this week’s cash business. Feeder cattle were lower on the same factors. April live cattle closed $1.92 lower at $91.60 and June live cattle closed $1.02 lower at $84.07. April feeder cattle closed $.42 lower at $117.90 and May feeder cattle closed $.52 lower at $116.75.
A light direct cash cattle trade took place on Tuesday. Live deals in Nebraska were at $95 and dressed deals at $150. But, the rest of cattle country remains quiet. And bids are few and far between. Asking prices for cattle on show lists are at $105 live in the South and $168 dressed in the North. Significant trade volume will likely wait until Thursday or Friday to develop. Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange has an offering of 4668 head.
At the Joplin Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to last week steers under 500 pounds and over 700 pounds were steady to $3 higher, 550 to 700-pound steers were steady. Heifer calves and yearling heifers were steady, except a two-load lot of replacement quality 800-pound heifers, which were sharply higher. The USDA says demand was moderate to good, supply was moderate. Receipts were up on the week and down slightly on the year. Feeder supply included 57 percent steers and 44 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 565 to 598 pounds brought $140 to $154 and feeder steers 750 to 796 pounds brought $117 to $128.50. Medium and large 1 feeder heifers 505 to 542 pounds brought $126 to $138 and feeder heifers 802 pounds brought $118.50.
Boxed beef closed sharply higher on strong demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $11.47 higher at $259.85 and Select closed $10.83 higher at $248.82. Estimated cattle slaughter is 84,000 head – down 15,000 on the week and down 37,000 on the year. Monday’s cattle slaughter has been revised to 86,000 head.
Lean hog futures closed mixed, mostly higher on spread adjustment and sharply higher wholesale values during the session. May lean hogs closed $3.67 at $44.27 and June lean hogs closed $1.85 higher at $48.10.
Cash hogs closed higher with moderate negotiated purchases. The cash hog market remains under pressure as packing plant closures and slowdowns are causing disruptions to the supply chain. At the same time, supplies of ready barrows and gilts are more than ample and domestic demand has slowed. The global protein demand picture continues to be a silver lining for the pork industry. As supplies are short and the US could still, fairly easily, play a big role in meeting the world’s pork and protein needs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.96 higher with a base range of $31 to $35 for a weighted average of $32.73 and the Western Corn Belt closed $2.28 higher for a weighted average of $33.78. The Iowa/Minnesota and the Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $24. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 to $3 lower with moderate to good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $15 to $28. Barrow and gilt prices were weak with light demand for moderate offerings at $10 to $18. Boars brought $2 to $5.
Pork values closed sharply higher – up $3.27 at $69.95. Bellies and ribs closed sharply higher. Butts and loins are higher. Hams are firm. Picnics are steady. Estimated hog slaughter is 354,000 head – down 83,000 on the week and down 124,000 on the year. Monday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 365,000 head.