Market News

Cattle futures lower watching general trade

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were sharply lower, reacting to the steep losses on Wall Street during the session and the bearish placements total in last week’s USDA Cattle on Feed report. February live was down $1.60 at $136.32 and April was $202 lower at $140.07. January feeders were $1.80 lower at $158.47 and March was down $2.05 at $161.25.

It was a quiet Monday for direct cash cattle trade activity.  Showlists this week are mixed, higher in Kansas while lower in Texas, Nebraska and Colorado. Bids and asking prices have yet to be established and it is likely the bulk of the week’s business will be delayed until midweek or later. 

Boxed beef cutout values closed higher, choice up $1.09 at $193.50 and select $2.46 higher at $284.79.

At the Crawford Livestock Market in Nebraska last week, compared to the prior week, business was mixed for both heifers and steers. USDA says demand was moderate to good with good attendance at the sale. Feeder supply included 52 percent steers and 57 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers weighing 611 to 643 pounds brought $174 to $191 and steers from 650 to 689 brought $160 to $175.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers weighing 600 to 644 pounds brought $155 to $169.50 and feeder heifers from 652 to 699 brought $143 to $158.

Estimated cattle slaughter is 115,000 head, up 2,000 on the week but down 1,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were mostly higher on spread trade and the sharply higher midday move in pork. February was up $.12 at $86.32 and April was $.37 higher at $95.32.

Cash hogs closed higher on a light negotiated total. Packers haven’t been as aggressive moving their numbers recently, and continue to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong, but there are some long-term demand concerns which have been adding some pressure to prices.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $3 higher with a base range of $60 to $75 for a weighted average of $65.69; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $68.14; the Western Cornbelt had a weighted average of $68.14; the Eastern Cornbelt was not reported due to confidentiality.

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were firm with moderate demand for light to moderate offerings at $29 to $42.  Barrows and gilts were mostly $1 lower with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $38 to $46.  Boars ranged from $15 to $20 and $10 to $15. 

Pork values closed higher, up $2.37 at $95.66. Bellies, picnics, ribs and butts were sharply higher. Hams and loins were lower.

Estimated hog slaughter is 455,000 head, up 60,000 on the week but down 34,000 on the year.

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