Market News

Cattle, hog futures lower at midweek

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were lower watching direct business develop with pressure from lower boxed beef prices.  October live cattle closed $.25 lower at $124.77 and December live cattle closed $.25 lower at $129.  October feeder cattle closed $.92 lower at $157.65 and November feeder cattle closed $.82 lower at $160.97.    

A light to moderate direct cash cattle trade took place on Wednesday.  Live deals in the South were at $124, fully steady with last week’s weighted averages.  Deals in the North were at $122 to $124 live and $196 dressed, also about steady with last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange was a non-starter with just 272 head sold out of a 4,500 head offering.   

At the Kingsville Livestock Auction in Missouri, compared to last week, the majority of cattle on hand were yearlings and sold steady to $6 higher.  Calves were more lightly tested, but sold steady to firm.  There were a few packages of steers at 400 to 500 pounds that sold with a higher undertone.  The USDA says demand was good for a moderate supply.  There was a good quality run of mainly long-weaned cattle offered.  Receipts were down slightly on the week and up on the year.  Feeder supply included 54% steers and 73% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 663 to 693 pounds brought $160 to $170 and feeder steers 770 to 791 pounds brought $155.35 to $165.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 666 to 669 pounds brought $153.25 to $159 and feeder heifers 759 to 778 pounds brought $149.85 to $154.25. 

Boxed beef closed lower with light demand for solid offerings.  Choice closed $1.05 lower at $280.02 and Select closed $2.65 lower at $258.70.  The Choice/Select spread is $21.32. Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and the year.

Lean hog futures ended the day lower pressured by weakness in the cash trade and long-term demand uncertainties.  October lean hogs closed $.42 lower at $88.65 and December lean hogs closed $.02 lower at $78.15. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a large negotiated run.  Packers moved big numbers again on Wednesday at much lower prices.  The availability of market-ready barrows and gilts has been more than ample.  And while there is currently strong demand for US pork on the global market and domestically, there are concerns about the long-term demand picture and that has pressured prices.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.93 lower with a base range of $66 to $71 and a weighted average of $68.18.  The Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $68.59; the Western Corn Belt has a weighted average of $68.55; the Eastern Corn Belt had a weighted average of $68.62

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $60. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $48 to $58.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $47 to $50.  Boars ranged from $20 to $25 and $9 to $15. 

Pork values closed higher – up $2.47 at $104.85.  Hams and picnics were sharply higher.  Butts were about steady.  Ribs, loins, and bellies were lower to sharply lower.  Estimated hog slaughter is 478,000 head – even on the week and down 13,000 on the year. 

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