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Cattle, hog futures end the day limit higher

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day limit higher on follow-through buying and broader market support during the futures session.  Feeder cattle were also limit higher on the same factors as the live pit.  April live cattle closed $4.50 higher at $88.32 and June live cattle closed $4.50 higher at $84.80.  April feeder cattle closed $4.50 higher at $114.92 and May feeder cattle closed $4.50 higher at $113.80. 

A light to moderate direct cash cattle trade is being reported across cattle country.  Live deals are at $105, that’s about $4 lower than last week’s weighted averages.  Asking prices are holding around $110 to $113 in the South and $180 in the North.  Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange has an offering of 8136 head.  Look for additional business to develop over the balance of the week. 

At the Joplin Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to last week, steers and heifers are $10 to $15 lower.  The USDA says demand is moderate to light and the supply is moderate.  Receipts of 5,534 head are down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 61 percent steers and 46 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 603 to 643 pounds brought $123 to $151.25 and feeder steers 803 to 846 pounds brought $101 to $109.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 605 to 648 pounds brought $106 to $119 and feeder heifers 650 to 698 pounds brought $103 to $117.25.    

Boxed beef closed mixed, lower on Choice and higher on Select, on light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings.  Select and Choice chuck cuts were higher, while round cuts were steady to firm.  Choice rib and loin cuts were lower, while Select is steady.    Choice closed $2.17 lower at $227.88 and Select closed $2.72 higher at $217.75.  The Choice/Select spread closed at $10.13.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 106,000 head – down 13,000 on the week and down 15,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day limit higher on follow-through buying and broader market support during the futures session.  April lean hogs closed $3 higher at $44.12 and May lean hogs closed $3 higher at $48.37. 

Cash hogs ended the day steady with moderate negotiated purchases.  Supplies of ready barrows and gilts remain ample, but a reduction in slaughter capacity due to COVID-19 remains a concern and that’s adding pressure to prices.  The industry continues to watch the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on domestic demand. That had been largely supportive, but if the declines are expected to be long-lasting it would put serious pressure on prices. The global demand picture remains a bright spot for the pork industry, as there’s still a protein shortage. And as long as there isn’t a major disruption to production, the US pork industry is well-positioned to meet pork and protein needs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.69 lower with a base range of $40 to $42 for a weighted average of $41.07; the Iowa/Minnesota had no comparison for a weighted average of $40.11; the Western Corn Belt closed $.15 lower for a weighted average of $40.17.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.    

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $33.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $3 to $5 lower with good demand for heavy offerings at $10 to $37.  Barrow and gilt prices were $2 lower with light demand for moderate offerings at $18 to $23.  Boars brought $5 to $15. 

Pork values closed sharply lower – down $2.96 at $54.73.  Butts, picnics, loins, hams, and bellies were all sharply lower.  Ribs closed sharply higher.  Estimated hog slaughter is 482,000 head – down 11,000 on the week and up 4,000 on the year. 

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