Market News

Cattle futures mixed to start the week

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day mixed ahead of the week’s direct cash business.  June live cattle closed $1.27 lower at $115.30 and August live cattle closed $.28 lower at $118.35.  May feeder cattle closed $.55 lower at $133.05 and August feeder cattle closed $.05 higher at $146.80. 

It was a typically quiet Monday for direct cash cattle trade activity.  Show lists are mixed — somewhat higher in Texas, higher in Kansas, and slightly lower in Nebraska/Colorado.  Bids and asking prices have yet to surface and significant trade volume will likely be delayed until at least midweek or later. 

At mid-session at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week feeder steers are $2 to $3 lower.  Feeder heifers are $2 to $4 lower.  The USDA says demand was moderate to good.  Receipts were up on the week and down significantly on the year.  Feeder supply included 57 percent steers and 73 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 751 to 791 pounds brought $129 to $144.50 and feeder steers 953 to 997 pounds brought $117 to $124.75.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 608 to 643 pounds brought $126 to $136.50 and feeder heifers 651 to 681 pounds brought $129 to $131. 

Boxed beef closed higher on good demand for light offerings.  Choice closed $2.80 higher at $299.30 and Select closed $.74 higher at $283.79.  The Choice/Select spread is $15.51. Estimated cattle slaughter is 114,000 head – down 3,000 on the week and up 36,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day higher with support from higher pork values during the session and long-term demand expectations.  May lean hogs closed $.57 higher at $110.70 and June lean hogs closed $2.92 higher at $112.65. 

Cash hogs ended the day lower with an average negotiated run.  Packers continue to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts and took a bit of a breather to start the week.  The strong demand on both the global market and domestically for US pork recently has been sending prices higher.  The industry expects that to continue.  But, should a disruption occur, it could send prices tumbling. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.82 lower with a base range of $107.05 to $120 and a weighted average of $111.67.  The Iowa/Minnesota closed $.33 lower with a weighted average of $116.16 and the Western Corn Belt closed $.36 lower with a weighted average of $114.06.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are up significantly from last week to $70. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were weak with moderate demand for light to moderate offerings at $54 to $64.  Barrow and gilt prices were steady with good demand for heavy offerings at $69 to $79.  Boars ranged from $40 to $45 and $15 to $20. 

Pork values closed higher – up $1.20 at $111.66.  Picnics were sharply higher. Loins, bellies, and ribs were all higher.  Butts and hams were lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 483,000 head – even on the week and up 203,000 on the year.

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