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Cattle futures tumble ahead of direct business

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were sharply lower ahead of the weeks’ direct cash business.  There was also some spillover from the broader markets.  October live cattle closed $2.17 lower at $184.80 and December lives closed $2.75 lower at $188.47.  October feeder cattle closed $4.95 lower at $253.87 and November feeders closed $5.82 lower at $256.87. 

It was another quiet day for direct cash cattle business.  Early asking prices in parts of the South were at $186-plus live, but other areas were pretty quiet.  Bids didn’t surface on Tuesday.  If this week’s business follows the trend of recent weeks, significant trade volume won’t develop until sometime Thursday or Friday. 

At the Callaway Livestock Center in Missouri, steer calves 400 to 500 pounds were lightly tested.  Steers 500 to 550 pounds were $2 to $5 lower.  Steers 550 to 600 pounds were $5 to $8 lower with spots of $10 lower.  Steers 600 to 650 pounds were mostly $5 lower.  While steers over 650 pounds were not well tested, a part load of 713-pound steers sold with a firm undertone.  Feeder heifers 400 to 600 pounds were steady to firm and heifers over 600 pounds were lightly tested, except a pot load of top-quality 605-pound heifers that sold with a higher undertone.  The UDSA says demand was moderate to good on a moderate offering.  The offering of lightweight calves under 400 pounds was larger than normal, and was met with good demand.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 49% steers and 34% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 507 to 548 pounds brought $305 to $319 and feeder steers 601 to 648 pounds brought $282.25 to $294.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 511 to 545 pounds brought $270 to $279 and feeder heifers 605 pounds brought $285.75. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for solid offerings. Choice was $1.94 lower at $299.54 and Select closed $1.35 lower at $279.10.  The Choice/Select spread is $20.44.  Estimated cattle slaughter was 128,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and down 1,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures were mostly lower ahead of Thursday’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report.  October lean hogs closed $.10 higher at $81.62 and December lean hogs closed $.17 lower at $72.35. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a solid negotiated run.  Processors just aren’t being forced to get aggressive in their procurement efforts right now and prices reflect that.  Supplies of market-ready hogs are ample.  Demand on the global market is relatively strong, but there are concerns domestic demand could slow as summer grilling season is over.  And the industry is looking to this week’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.55 lower with a base range of $74.75 to $79 and weighted average of $76.99; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.22 lower with a weighted average of $77.63; the Western Corn Belt closed $.65 lower with a weighted average of $77.17. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $55.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $28 to $39.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $39 to $49. 

Pork values closed lower – down $.58 at $98.28.  Bellies were sharply lower.  Butts and ribs were lower.  Loins, hams, and picnics were higher.  Estimated hog slaughter was 487,000 head – up 3,000 on the week and up 9,000 on the year. 

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