Market News

Cattle futures supported by wholesale values

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed higher and feeders were mostly higher supported by sharply higher wholesale values and the stronger start to the week’s cash business.  June lives closed $.40 higher at $118.62 and August live cattle closed $1.70 higher at $122.05.  May feeder cattle closed $.12 lower at $135.32 and August feeder cattle closed $.15 higher at $148.85. 

A light direct cash cattle trade took place on Tuesday.  Deals in Eastern Nebraska were marked at $191 dressed, that’s $2 higher than last week’s weighted averages.  All of those are marked for delayed delivery.  The rest of cattle country was relatively quiet.  Asking prices are around $120 plus live in the South, while they have yet to surface out of the North.  Look for more business to develop as the week progresses. 

At the Tri-State Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared to last week feeders were steady to $4 higher.  Steers 950 pounds were $4 higher.  The USDA says demand was good.  Receipts were down slightly on the week and down on the year.  Feeder supply included 74 percent steers and 71 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 865 to 875 pounds brought $130.50 to $136.75 and feeder steers 952 pounds brought $128.10.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 508 to 532 pounds brought $152.50 to $162 and feeder heifers 574 pounds brought $147. 

Boxed beef closed sharply higher on good demand for moderate offerings.  Choice is $3.26 higher at $312.37 and Select is $2.58 higher at $296.34.  The Choice/Select spread is $16.03. Estimated cattle slaughter is 118,000 head – down 3,000 on the week and up 24,000 on the year.  Monday’s cattle slaughter has been revised to 112,000. 

Lean hog futures ended the day lower on technical selling, shrugging off higher cash and pork values.  May lean hogs closed $.42 lower at $111.47 and June lean hogs closed $.92 lower at $111.17. 

Cash hogs closed sharply lower with a big negotiated run.  Packers remain aggressive in their procurement efforts and have been bidding up in some instances to move their desired numbers.  They’re also keeping a close eye on the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  Demand for US pork has been strong on the global market and domestically and that’s been providing some price support and the industry expects that to continue. Barrows and gilt at the National Daily Direct closed $5.18 higher with a weighted average of $117.40; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.93 higher with a weighted average of $122.30; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.26 higher with a weighted average of $122.30.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.  

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash market are steady at $77. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for light to moderate offerings at $52 to $62.  Barrow and gilt prices were $1 lower with good demand for heavy offerings at $75 to $80.  Boars ranged from $40 to 445 and $15 to $20. 

Pork values closed about steady – up $.04 at $113.20.  Loins, butts, ribs, and picnics were higher.  Bellies and hams were lower.  Estimated hog slaughter is 485,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and up 114,000 on the year.

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