Market News

Cattle futures supported by higher corn

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle closed higher on follow-through buying and the lower move in corn, waiting for direct cash business to develop.  June live cattle closed $.12 higher at $135.32 and August live cattle closed $.27 higher at $137.32.  August feeder cattle closed $2.20 higher at $176.27 and September feeder cattle closed $1.67 higher at $178.35. 

Direct cash cattle trade activity is off to a relatively quiet start.  There was some very scattered trade reported in the North at $230, but it’s not near enough to establish a trend.  Packer inquiry is expected to improve as the day progresses.  Asking prices in the South are at $142 to $143 live, however, the North remains relatively quiet.  It’s likely the bulk of the week’s trade will take place midweek or later. 

At the Callaway Livestock Auction in Missouri, compared to last week steer calves 400 to 600 pounds were fully steady to firm with spots of 500-to-550-pound steers were $5 higher.  Steers 600 to 700 pounds were not well tested.  Heifers 400 to 500 pounds were steady to firm, heifers 500 to 600 pounds were steady to $5 lower, and heifers over 600 pounds were not well tested.  The quality of lightweight steer calves was very good and sold on an active market.  Receipts were down on the week and up on the year.  Feeder supply included 65% steers and 33% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 551 to 597 pounds brought $187 to $199 and feeder steers 868 to 884 pounds brought $155 to $158.25.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 405 to 435 pounds brought $170 to $180 and feeder heifers 501 to 548 pounds brought $158 to $168.

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for solid offerings.  Choice is $3 lower at $259.55 and Select closed $.89 lower at $247.34.  The Choice/Select spread is $12.21. Estimated cattle slaughter 126,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and up 4,000 on the year.  Monday’s cattle slaughter was revised to 111,000 head. 

Lean hog futures closed lower on follow-through selling with additional pressure from long-term demand concerns.  June lean hogs closed $2.77 lower at $102.20 and July lean hogs closed $3.20 lower at $103.85. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a moderate negotiated run. The industry remains focused on the availability of market-ready hogs. And processors are moving their desired numbers without having to get aggressive in their procurement efforts.  There are long-term demand concerns for US pork on the global market and domestically, adding pressure to prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.57 higher with a base range of $95 to $111 and a weighted average of $100.13; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.49 higher with a weighted average of $107.85; the Western Corn Belt closed $5.35 higher with a weighted average of $107.79.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest Cash Markets are $2 higher at $70. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with light to moderate demand for light to moderate offerings at $72 to $85.  Barrows and gilts were steady with light to moderate demand offerings at $65 to $74.  Boars ranged from $40 to $45 and $20 to $25. 

Pork values closed lower – down $1.02 at $105.56.  Hams, loins, ribs, and butts were all lower.  Picnics were about steady.  Bellies closed higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 480,000 head – even on the week and down 6,000 on the year. 

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