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Cattle futures pressured by the continued slide in wholesale values

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day lower on the slightly weaker cash trade and continued slide in wholesale values.  Feeder cattle were lower on the same factors with additional pressure from the days modestly higher move in corn.  June live cattle closed $3 lower at $95.30 and August live cattle closed $2.77 lower at $96.20.  August feeder cattle closed $2.70 lower at $133.42 and September feeder cattle closed $2.30 lower at $134.90. 

A light direct cash cattle trade developed on Tuesday.  Dressed deals in Nebraska are at $176 to $178, marked for delayed delivery.  That’s steady to $4 lower than the bulk of Monday’s business.  Deals in Iowa were at $178. Asking prices are around $118 to $120 plus live in the South and $190 plus dressed in the North.  There was a light trade that was reported yesterday in Nebraska and Iowa with a range of $178 to $187 dressed, mostly $187.  That’s steady to $3 lower than the bulk of last week’s business.  Some deals were reported in Kansas and Texas at $118, live, generally steady to $2 lower than the prior week’s weighted averages.  Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange has an offering of 1,736 head. 

At the Callaway Livestock Center in Missouri, compared to two weeks ago steer calves 400 to 500 pounds were firm to $2 higher, 500 to 600-pound steers were fully steady, 600 to 700-pound steers were steady with spots of $2 lower, and steers over 850 pounds were steady with a firm undertone.  Feeder heifers 400 to 500 pounds were steady to $2 lower, 500 to 600-pound heifers were steady, and heifers over 650 pounds were steady with a firm undertone noted.  There was a large offering of load lots – with many strings of top-quality feeder cattle on hand.  An active market was noted with plenty of buyers on hand and feeder sold with good demand.  Feeder supply included 64 percent steers and 44 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 602 to 647 pounds brought $154.50 to $161.25 and feeder steers 911 to 943 pounds brought $120 to $127.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 500 to 548 pounds brought $145 to $153.50 and feeder heifer 556 to 582 pounds brought $138 to $147. 

Boxed beef ended the day sharply lower again with light demand for moderate to heavy offerings.  Choice closed $22.42 lower at $318.73 and Select closed $26.25 lower at $290.58.  The Choice/Select spread is $28.15. 

Estimated cattle slaughter is 113,000 head – up 7,000 on the week, but down 5,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mostly higher on oversold signals, but nearby contracts were pressured by the ongoing concerns about supply chain issues.  June lean hogs closed $2.20 lower at $52.40 and July lean hogs closed $.27 lower at $54.87. 

Cash hogs ended the day firm with moderate negotiated purchases.  The industry is still hopeful both domestic and global demand for US pork will remain strong as that will be a huge factor in keeping pork prices supported.  Supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts remain more than ample, but processors are still struggling to keep up with supplies and move through the backlog of hogs from the COVID-19 outbreak.  While facilities are up and running, they’re still running at reduced capacity and that’s not helping to fully alleviate the pressure in the pipeline. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.74 higher with a base range of $29 to $37 for a weighted average of $34.60.  Prices at the major regional direct market were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $20.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were weak with light to moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $7 to $20.  Barrow and gilt prices were weak with light demand for heavy offerings at $16 to $20.  Boars ranged from $1 to $5. 

Pork values ended the day sharply lower – down $6.67 at $74.37.  Butts and ribs both dropped more than $14.  Loins were sharply lower.  Picnics, bellies, and hams were all lower.   Estimated hog slaughter is 417,000 head, up 12,000 on the week, but down 61,000 on the year. Monday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 408,000 head.

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