Cattle futures sluggish to start the week
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly lower, and feeders were lower waiting for direct cash business to develop. June live cattle closed $.80 higher at $133.55 and August feeder cattle closed $.47 lower at $174.22.
It was a quiet start to the week for direct cash cattle trade activity. Showlists are lower in Kansas, but higher in Nebraska/Colorado, and Texas. Bids and asking prices are slow to surface. Look for significant trade volume to pick up midweek or later.
At the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week, feeder steers over 800 pounds were steady to $3 higher and steers under 800 pounds were $1 to $4 lower. Feeder heifers were unevenly steady. Steer calves were $4 to $8 higher. The USDA says demand was good and improved following last week’s rains. Receipts were down on the week, but up on the year. Feeder supply included 56% steers and 69% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 714 to 749 pounds brought $158.75 to $168 and feeder steers 753 to 798 pounds brought $150 to $161. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 600 to 642 pounds brought $154 to $167 and feeder heifers 803 to 841 pounds brought $135 to $143.50.
Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for solid offerings. Choice closed $3.85 higher at $258.29 and Select closed $1.93 lower at $243.13. The Choice/Select spread is $15.16. Estimated cattle slaughter 121,000 head – up 10,000 on the week and up 8,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day lower, pressured by demand uncertainty and spillover from the broader markets. June lean hogs closed $2.80 lower at $101.30 and July lean hogs closed $2.85 lower at $104.20.
Cash hogs closed sharply higher with a moderate negotiated run. Processors were a more aggressive in their procurement efforts to start the week and bid up to move their desired numbers. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Demand for US pork has remained relatively strong, helping to support prices. But there are still long-term demand concerns adding uncertainty. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $4.85 higher with a base range of $98 to $112 and a weighted average of $106.83; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $2.18 higher with a weighted average of $111.35; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.63 higher with weighted average of $111.07. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets were higher at $70.
Pork values closed lower – down $.31 at $104.39. Hams were sharply lower. Bellies, loins, butts, picnics, ribs were all higher. Estimated hog slaughter 468,000 head – down 14,000 on the week and 9,000 on the year. Friday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 444,000 head.