Market News

Cattle futures mostly higher watching cash business develop

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were mixed, mostly higher watching direct business develop.  February live cattle closed $1.42 higher at $137.67 and April live cattle closed $.62 higher at $141.20.  March feeder cattle closed $1 higher at $166.35 and April feeder cattle closed $.67 higher at $170.12. 

There was a light direct cash cattle trade that took place on Tuesday.  Live deals in parts of the South were at $137, that’s $1 lower than last week’s weighted average in Texas and about steady with last week’s business in Kansas.  A few scattered bids surfaced in other parts of cattle country at $137 live.  The North has been quiet.  Asking prices are at $138 to $140 live in the South and $222 plus dressed in the North.  Look for more business to pick up as the week progresses. 

At the Joplin Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to last week, feeder steers under 525 pounds were $6 to $12 higher and heavier weight steers were steady to $3 higher.  Feeder heifers were steady to $3 higher.  The USDA says supply was heavy with very good demand.  Receipts were down slightly on the week and up on the year.  Feeder supply included 58% steers and 56% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 600 to 639 pounds brought $164 to $172 and feeder steers 702 to 747 pounds brought $158 to $169.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 500 to 549 pounds brought $148 to $163 and feeder heifers 602 to 640 pounds brought $148 to $156. 

Boxed beef closed higher with strong demand for solid offerings.  Choice close $2.18 and $278.22 and Select closed $2.13 higher at $268.63.  The Choice/Select spread is $9.59. Estimated cattle slaughter is 114,000 head – down 3,000 on the week and down 2,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures were mixed, adjusting spreads.  February lean hogs closed $.52 lower at $77.85 and April lean hogs closed $.50 lower at $84.20. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a moderate negotiated run.  Processors bid up to move their desired numbers on Tuesday.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  Demand for US pork on the global market has been strong, which is expected to continue.  However, there are long-term demand concerns which has been adding pressure to prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct are $1.10 higher with a base range of $62 to $71 and a weighted average of $66.99; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $70.17; the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $70.04.  Prices at the regional direct markets were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $44. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were mostly $2 to $4 lower with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $31 to $46.  Barrows and gilts were mixed with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $40 to $46.  Boars ranged from $15 to $22 and $10 to $15. 

Pork values closed sharply lower – down $4.80 at $81.62.  Hams, bellies, picnics, loins were all sharply lower.  Butts were lower.  Ribs were higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 458,000 head – down 9,000 on the week and down 42,000 on the year.  Monday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 448,000 head. 

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