Market News

Cattle futures lower to start the week

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day lower on fund liquidation.  Feeders had additional pressure from the day’s higher move in corn.  Live Cattle closed $.50 lower at $120.35 and June live cattle closed $.57 lower at $118.60.  April feeder cattle closed $1.90 lower at $137.72 and May feeder cattle closed $1.25 lower at $142.57. 

A quiet start to the week for direct cash cattle trade activity.  Bids and asking prices have yet to surface.  Showlists are higher in Texas, and Nebraska/Colorado, and somewhat lower in Kansas.  It’s likely significant trade volume will be delayed until midweek or later.

At midsession, at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week feeder steers and heifers were $4 to $8 lower.  Steer and heifer calves were $2 to $4 lower.  The USDA says demand was moderate.  Receipts were down on the week and up on the year. Feeder supply included 61 percent steers and 54 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 552 to 585 pounds brought $164 to $168 and feeder steers 654 to 696 pounds brought $141 to $157.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 551 to 597 pounds brought $140 to $150 and feeder heifers 722 to 749 pounds brought $126 to $131.75.   

Boxed beef closed about steady with moderate demand for fairly light offerings.  Choice closed $.12 higher at $276.17 and Select closed $.03 higher at $269.13.  The Choice/Select spread is $7.04.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 119,000 head – up 7,000 on the week and up 32,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day higher on demand optimism with additional support from higher pork values.  May lean hogs closed $3.17 higher at $105.65 and June lean hogs closed $2.62 higher at $104.32. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a moderate negotiated run.  Packers were a little more aggressive in their procurement efforts Monday afternoon and continue to keep an eye on the availability of market-ready hogs.  Strong demand on both the global market and domestically has been very supportive to prices and that’s expected to continue, at least for the time being.  Daily slaughter runs continue at relatively high levels.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.45 higher with a base range of $100 to $109 and a weighted average of $104.94; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.72 higher with a weighted average of $106.54; the Western Corn Belt closed $.50 higher with a weighted average of $106.34.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are called steady at $66, but that’s $4 higher than Friday’s last reported prices.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 lower with moderate to good demand for moderate offerings at $60 to $70.  Barrow and gilt prices were $2 higher with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $67 to $75.  Boars ranged from $30 to $40 and $12 to $20. 

Pork values closed higher – up $1.99 at $114.08.  Ribs, bellies, loins, picnics were higher to sharply higher.  Butts and hams were weak.  Estimated hog slaughter is 490,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and up 125,000 on the year.

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