Market News

Cattle futures mixed ahead of direct business

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mixed, and feeders were higher waiting for direct business to develop. April live cattle closed $.80 lower at $185.92 and June live cattle closed $.45 lower at $183.52.  March feeders closed $1.67 higher at $248.82 and April feeder cattle closed $1.40 higher at $253.17.

Direct cash cattle trade activity was quiet, typical for a Monday.  Showlists this week are mixed – higher in Kansas, but lower in Texas, Nebraska, and Colorado.  It’s likely significant trade volume will be delayed until midweek or later. 

At mid-session, at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, feeder steers, and heifers were lightly tested, with business starting off steady to weak.  Steer and heifer calves are $2 to $4 higher.  The USDA says demand has been good for all classes.  Quality is plain to average.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 52% steers and 53% of the offering was over 600 pounds.   Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 607 to 647 pounds brought $246 to $296 and feeder steers 706 to 749 pounds brought $246 to $255.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 563 to 594 pounds brought $247 to $267 and feeder heifers 700 to 742 pounds brought $220 to $235.

Boxed beef closed higher on solid demand for moderate offerings.  Choice was $.04 higher at $294.08 and Select was $1.94 higher at $287.02.  The Choice/Select spread is $7.06. Estimated cattle slaughter was 115,000 head – down 10,000 on the week and down nearly 8,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were mostly lower on spread trade and profit-taking. April lean hogs closed $.02 lower at $81.12 and May lean hogs closed $.22 lower at $86.00. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a fairly light negotiated run. Processors had to get a little more aggressive in their procurement efforts later in the day Monday and bid up to move needed numbers.  Demand for US pork on the global market has been solid and that’s been supportive to prices.  But long-term demand concerns do linger.  In addition, supplies of market-ready hogs have been more than ample and hog weights have been higher year-over-year, both add more pork to market. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.42 higher with a base range of $59 to $68 and a weighted average of $65.21; the Iowa/Minnesota had no comparison but a weighted average of $65.49; the Western Corn Belt also had no comparison but a weighted average of $65.37.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $48./

Pork closed higher– up $2.57 at $88.54.  Hams and bellies were sharply higher.  Loins were higher.  Butts and picnics were firm.  Ribs closed lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 491,000 head – up 4,000 on the week and up nearly 10,000 on the year. 

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