Market News

Cattle futures sharply lower to start the week

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were sharply lower on fund and technical selling.  December live cattle closed $1.47 lower at $168.77 and February lives closed $2.15 lower at $168.82.  January feeder cattle closed $6.52 lower at $212.80 and March feeder cattle closed $6.42 lower at $216.30. 

Direct cash cattle trade had a typically quiet start to the week.  Showlists were higher across all feeding areas.  Bids and asking prices didn’t surface and significant trade volume will likely be delayed until midweek or later.

At midsession, at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, feeder steers under 750 pounds were steady to $3 higher with few steers over 750 pounds.  Feeder heifers were $3 to $6 lower.  The USDA says demand for feeder cattle was moderate at best.  Steer calves were mostly steady and heifer calves were $4 to $8 higher.  There were several weaned calves available which were met with very good demand.  Receipts were up on the week and down on the year.  Feeder supply included 59% steers and 51% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 511 to 543 pounds brought $275 to $281 and feeder steers 600 to 638 pounds brought $248 to $270.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 509 to 531 pounds brought $209 to $235 and feeder heifers 665 to 690 pounds brought $200 to $222. 

Boxed beef closed lower with light demand for moderate offerings. Choice was down $.78 at $297.25 and Select was $.96 lower at $267.80. The Choice/Select spread was $29.45. Estimated cattle slaughter was 123,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and down 4,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures were mostly lower on long-term demand concerns.  December lean hogs closed $.30 higher at $67.87 and February lean hogs closed $1.85 lower at $66.92. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a moderate negotiated run. Supplies of market-ready hogs remain more than ample, giving packers the leverage needed to do business as they please.  Monday, however, they had to bid up to move needed numbers.  Demand has been relatively strong on the global market, but there are long-term concerns about its ability to hold. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were up $1.36 with a base range of $53.50 to $62 and a weighted average price of $58.85. Prices at the regional direct markets were not reported due to confidentiality.  However, the 5-day rolling average for the Iowa/Minnesota was $60.53 and the Western Corn Belt was $60.08. 

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $55. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $45 to $58.  Barrows and gilts were $2 lower with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $36 to $46.  Boars ranged from $18 to $21 and $5 to $10. 

Pork values closed sharply higher – up $4.58 at $88.75. Bellies were sharply higher.  Picnics, hams, loins, butts, and ribs were also higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 485,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and down 5,000 on the year.  Friday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 455,000 head and Saturday’s hog slaughter was revised to 346,000 head. 

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