Market News

Cattle futures supported by stronger cash trade

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day higher supported by the recent momentum in the cash trade.  Feeder cattle were higher on the same factors with support from the weak move in corn.  December live cattle closed $.62 higher at $119.87 and February live cattle closed $.65 higher at $125.67.  November feeder cattle closed $.57 higher at $147.57 and January feeder cattle closed $1.25 higher at $147.12. 

It was a slow start to the week for direct cash cattle trade activity.  Bids and asking prices yet to surface.  Showlists this week appear to be mixed – higher in Texas, somewhat higher in Kansas, but lower in Nebraska.  Significant trade volume will likely be delayed until the end of the week. 

At mid-session at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week all classes of feeder cattle and calves are fully steady in the early rounds.  Demand is moderate to good.  Feeder supply included 62 percent steers and 51 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 605 to 645 pounds brought $145 to $151.50 and feeder steers 702 to 738 pounds brought $145 to $152.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 456 to 489 pounds brought $144 to $155.50 and feeder heifer 656 to 690 pounds brought $135 to $142. 

Boxed beef closed mixed – weak on Choice and firm on Select on light to moderate demand and light offerings.  Choice closed $.53 lower at $238.59 and Select closed $.43 higher at $213.69.  The Choice/Select spread closed at $24.90.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 112,000 head, down 3,000 on the week and up 1,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mostly higher, supported by strong wholesale values and continued optimism about potential demand increases.  December lean hogs closed $.82 lower at $63.30 and February lean hogs closed $.17 lower at $73.72. 

Cash hogs were steady at midday with fairly light negotiated purchase numbers.  The market has been in a sluggish pattern as of late.  The heavy supplies combined with demand uncertainties makes it very difficult for the market to turn higher.  The supplies of ready barrows and gilts remain more than ample.  The industry continues to look for signs that demand for US pork on the global market is seeing significant increases, but it has yet to find any.  Until that happens the market is likely stuck in its current pattern.  Barrows and gilts at the Iowa/Southern Minnesota closed $.08 higher for a weighted average of $42.72 and the National Daily Direct closed $.19 lower with a base range of $41 to $44.50 for a weighted average of $42.72.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt and the Western Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest Cash Market had no comparison of $36. 

Pork values closed sharply higher – up $3.67 at $86.34.  Bellies and hams closed sharply higher.  Ribs were higher.  Butts and loins closed firm.  Picnics were steady.    

Estimated hog slaughter is 444,000 head, that’s down 47,000 on the week and up 4,000 on the year. 

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