Market News

Cattle futures mostly higher ahead of direct business

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day mostly higher waiting for direct business to develop.  December live cattle closed $1.17 higher at $111.75 and February live cattle closed $1.05 higher at $113.95.  January feeder cattle closed $.77 higher at $138.60 and March feeder cattle closed $.85 higher at $138.12. 

Direct cash cattle trade has been relatively quiet, with business mostly non-existent.  Trade had been expected to develop earlier in the week due to the Thursday holiday.  There were a handful of deals in Iowa at $172 dressed. Asking prices are at $111 to $112 live in the South, while the North remains quiet.

At the Callaway Livestock Center in Missouri, compared to last week, 450 to 600-pound steer calves sold steady to firm on comparable sales and quality, with 6-weight steers uneven 600 to 650 pounds selling steady to $2 lower, and 650 to 700 pounds steers sold steady to $2 higher, over 700 pounds were not well tested.  Feeder heifers were steady to firm with a pot load of 720 heifers selling with a higher undertone.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 59 percent steers and 58 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 600 to 644 pounds brought $147 to $150 and feeder steers 861 to 871 pounds brought $135.10 to $137.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 613 to 636 pounds brought $139.50 to $145.50 and feeder heifers 721 pounds brought $142.75. 

Boxed beef closed higher on good demand for solid offerings.  Choice is $2.70 higher at $244.30 and Select closed $2.23 higher at $219.71.  The Choice/Select spread is $24.59. Estimated cattle slaughter is 122,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and up 13,000 on the year

Lean hog futures closed mixed on spread adjustments.  December lean hogs closed $.35 higher at $65.30 and February lean hogs closed $.37 lower at $66.75. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a solid negotiated run.  Packers have their eyes on the availability of market-ready hogs, which remains more than ample.  Slaughter runs continue to push higher and that’s keeping supply chains moving and preventing more of a backlog in the production system, but it’s also adding more pork to an already saturated market.  At the same time, there is uncertainty as it relates to both domestic and global demand for US pork and that puts even more pressure on prices.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.45 lower with a base range of $50 to $58.58 with a weighted average of $57.87; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.38 lower with a weighted average of $57.52; the Western Corn Belt closed $.37 lower with a weighted average of $57.59.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $42. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were firm with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $28 to $41. Barrow and gilt prices were weak with moderate demand for moderate offerings with $36 to $42.  Boars ranged from $15 to $19 and $5 to $8. 

Pork values closed weak – down $.19 at $77.58.  Picnics and bellies were sharply lower.  Butts and loins were weak to lower.  Ribs closed higher and hams were sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 497,000 head – up 4,000 on the week and up 7,000 on the year. 

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