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Cattle futures mixed heading into Friday

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed lower and feeder cattle were higher watching corn, and direct cash business develop.  June live cattle closed $1.12 lower at $133.90 and August live cattle closed $.67 lower at $136.35.  May feeder cattle closed $.609 higher at $157.95 and August feeder cattle closed $1.45 higher at $170.40

Another relatively quiet day for direct cash cattle trade.  While the bulk of the week’s business has wrapped up, some cleanup trade could trickle in before the end of the week.  Southern live deals have been at $140, fully steady with last week’s business.  Northern dressed deals at mostly $232, about $2 higher than the bulk of last week’s business. 

At the Hub City Livestock Auction in South Dakota, compared to last week steers 700 to 850 pounds and steers 901 to 950 pounds were mostly steady with instances up to $5 lower on 800 to 850 pounds and 901 to 950 pounds, 851 to 900 pounds were $7 to $10 lower.  The best test on heifers was 700 to 850 pounds and they were unevenly steady.  The USDA says demand was good to very good for the day’s large offering of packages and loads.  Quality varied more than last week, from plain to attractive.  Flesh was similar.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 66% steers and 97% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 863 to 898 pounds brought $150 to $156.25 and feeder steers 901 to 945 pounds brought $143 to $155.75.  Medium and Large feeder heifers 756 to 794 pounds brought $136 to $149 and feeder heifers 855 to 899 pounds brought $132 to $147. 

Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for solid offerings.  Choice closed $.69 higher at $262.60 and Select closed $1.26 lower at $251.06.  The Choice/Select spread is $11.54. Estimated cattle slaughter 123,000 – up 1,000 on the week and 2,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed mostly higher on spread trade and oversold signals.  May lean hogs closed $.20  lower at $103.97 and June lean hogs closed $.62 higher at $110.97. 

Cash hogs closed mixed with a moderate negotiated run.  For the most part, processors have been a little more aggressive in their procurement efforts this week and have bid up to move their desired numbers.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs.  Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong, and that is expected to continue.  However, there are long-term concerns that add uncertainty to the market. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.16 lower with a base range of $95 to $122 and a weighted average of $102.57 and the Western Corn Belt closed $1.47 higher with a weighted average of $110.41.  Prices at the Iowa/Minnesota and the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $66. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with light demand for light to moderate offerings at $72 to $85.  Barrows and gilts were steady with light demand for light to moderate offerings at $65 to $74.  Boars ranged from $40 to $45 and $20 to $25. 

Pork values closed lower – down $1.02 at $104.49.  Bellies, ribs, and butts were all sharply lower.  Loins were lower.  Picnics and hams were higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 476,000 head – down 6,000 on the week and down 5,000 on the year. 

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