Market News

Cattle futures mixed ahead of cash trade

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day mixed on spread adjustments and position squaring ahead of this week’s slew of USDA reports.  Feeder cattle were mixed on the same factors.  December live cattle closed $.07 higher at $118.77 and February live cattle closed $.05 lower at $125.05.  November feeder cattle closed $.22 higher at $146.60 and January feeder cattle closed $.45 lower at $144.02. 

Another quiet day for direct cash cattle trade activity.  While bids have yet to surface, asking prices have been floated at $117 to $118 live in the South and $185 to $188 dressed in the North.  Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange has an offering of 1,398 head.  It’s likely significant trade volume may not develop until midweek or later. 

At the Tri-State Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared to last week steers were steady to $6 higher and heifers were steady to $14 lower.  The USDA says demand was good on steers and moderate on heifers.  Receipts of 2,640 were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 72 percent steers and 26 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 unweaned feeder steers 559 to 592 pounds brought $150.50 to $165 and feeder steers 791 pounds brought $164.75. Medium and Large 1 unweaned feeder heifers 512 to 524 pounds brought $134 to $144.50 and unweaned feeder heifers 555 to 599 pounds brought $131 to $143.50. 

Boxed beef ended the day steady on moderate demand and offerings.  Choice closed $.11 lower at $239.01 and Select closed $.12 lower at $215.47.  The Choice/Select spread is $23.54.   Estimated cattle slaughter is 118,000 head, down 1,000 on the week and down 4,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mostly lower on the weak cash trade during the session and contracts are at a premium to cash.  December lean hogs closed $.60 lower at $62.15 and February lean hogs closed $.60 lower at $69.62. 

Cash hogs closed steady to firm with fairly solid negotiated purchase numbers.  The cash hog market is stuck in a rut.  Concerns about heavy supplies are outweighing the potential demand increases the industry has been waiting to see.  Slaughter runs continue to hit record or near-record totals almost daily and the fact that a significant increase in demand for US pork has yet to be seen on the global market – it is very difficult for prices to turn around and move higher.  Barrows and gilts at the Iowa/Southern Minnesota closed $.30 higher for a weighted average of $42.17; the Western Corn Belt closed $.30 higher for a weighted average of $42.16; the Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality; and the National Daily Direct closed $.17 higher with a base range of $40 to $43.03 for a weighted average of $42.31. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $36.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 lower at $26 to $37 with moderate to good demand for heavy offerings.  Barrow and gilt prices were steady at $25 to $30 with moderate demand for moderate offerings. 

Pork values closed sharply lower – down $4.47 at $84.67.  Hams and bellies were the big losers for the day with losses over $10.  Picnics closed weak.  Ribs and loins were steady.  Butts were firm.  Estimated hog slaughter is 494,000 head, up 2,000 on the week and up 16,000 on the year. 

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