Market News

Cattle futures mostly higher to start the week

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day mostly higher ahead of the week’s direct business.  December live cattle closed $.30 higher at $132.10 and February live cattle closed were unchanged at $137.12.  November feeder cattle closed $.30 lower at $158.57 and January feeder cattle closed $.70 higher at $160.30. 

Direct cash cattle trade started the week quietly.  Showlists are mixed, higher in Nebraska/Colorado, somewhat higher in Texas, but lower in Kansas.  Early asking prices in the South were at $132 to $134 live, the North, however, remained quiet. If a showdown takes place again this week, it’s likely the bulk of the week’s business will hold out until midweek or later. 

At the Oklahoma National Stockyards in Oklahoma, compared to last week feeder steers and heifers are $5 to $7 higher.  Steer calves are $7 to $10 higher.  Heifer calves were unevenly steady.  The USDA says demand was good and quality was average to attractive.  Receipts were up on the week, but down on the year.  Feeder supply included 54% steers and 43% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 600 to 644 pounds brought $152 to $176 and feeder steers 659 to 698 pounds brought $153 to $162.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 502 to 548 pounds brought $144 to $158 and feeder heifers 552 to 599 pounds brought $143 to $158.50. 

Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $.89 lower at $288.65 and Select closed $1.08 higher at $268.60.  The Choice/Select spread is $20.42. Estimated cattle slaughter is 121,000 head – even on the week and up 3,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mixed, adjusting spreads.  December lean hogs closed $.17 lower at $76.37 and February lean hogs closed $.10 lower at $79.37.

Cash hogs ended the day lower with a moderate negotiated run.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs.  Processors have been moving larger numbers at lower prices recently.  Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong.  That is expected to continue, however, there is some long-term demand concern and that is impacting prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.87 lower with a base range of $58 to $61 with a weighted average of $59.03; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $59.94; the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $59.83.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $10 lower than last week at $60. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 to $2 higher with moderate demand for light to moderate offerings at $56 to $67.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand or moderate offerings at $37 to $42.  Boars ranged from $15 to $25 and $10 to $20. 

Pork values closed lower – down $1.49 at $94.86.  Hams closed sharply lower.  Butts were lower.  Loins, picnics, ribs, and bellies were higher.  Estimated hog slaughter is 477,000 head – up 5,000 on the week and down 14,000 on the year. 

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