Market News

Cattle, hog futures lower on follow-through selling

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day lower on follow-through selling, weakness in wholesale values, and the bearish export numbers.  Feeder cattle were lower on the same factors with additional pressure from the modestly higher move in corn.  April live cattle closed $3 lower at $105.45 and June live cattle closed $2.77 lower at $93.55.  March feeder cattle closed $1.27 lower at $139.80 and April feeder cattle closed $3.62 lower at $125.10. 

Direct cash cattle trade was relatively quiet following Wednesday’s moderate to active business in most areas.  There was a light trade that developed in parts of the North on Thursday at $185 to $191 dressed, which is steady to slightly lower than Wednesday’s business.  Asking prices for cattle left on showlists are around $120 to $122 live and $190 to $192 dressed.  There are a few bids noted at $119 live and $190 dressed.  Live deals on Wednesday were $119 to $120, mostly $120, about $10 higher than last week’s weighted averages.  Dressed business was at mostly $190, roughly $17 higher than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. 

At the St. Joseph Stockyards in Missouri, compared to two weeks ago steers under 500 pounds were $15 to $20 higher and steers over 500 pounds were $6 to $12 higher.  Heifers were $4 to $8 higher.  Receipts of 1,459 were down slightly down from the most recent auction.  Feeder supply included 58 percent steers and 65 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 656 to 689 pounds brought $147.50 to $166 and feeder steers 715 to 722 pounds brought $135 to $150.60.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 600 to 649 pounds brought $138 to $146 and feeder heifers 705 to 729 pounds brought $121 to $130.

Boxed beef ended the day lower on light demand and moderate offerings.  Select and Choice rib and loin cuts are weak to lower, while chuck cuts were steady to firm.  Choice round cuts were weak, while select was higher.  Choice closed $1.73 lower at $253.57 and Select closed $.92 lower at $242.17.  The Choice/Select spread closed at $11.40.    Estimated cattle slaughter is 123,000 head – up 8,000 on the week and 5,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed lower on follow-through selling and weaker wholesale values.  April lean hogs closed $2.95 lower at $62.90 and May lean hogs closed $3.0 lower at $62.12. 

Cash hogs closed steady with large negotiated purchase numbers.  Supplies of ready barrows and gilts remain ample and packers are taking advantage of that as they continue to move big numbers to keep up with grocer demand.  The industry is still expecting to see more demand increase for US pork on the global market as African swine fever has created a disruption to the global pork supply.  African swine fever has been found on commercial operation in western Poland, it’s the first finding in domestic pigs in that area.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.12 lower with a base range of $55 to $62.50 for a weighted average of $58.89; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.21 lower for a weighted average of $59.49; the Western Corn Belt is $.19 lower for a weighted average of $59.25; the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $58.21.    

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $2 higher at $42. 

Pork values closed lower – down $1.42 at $77.61.  Bellies, picnics, hams, and ribs were lower to sharply lower.  Butts and loins are higher.  Estimated hog slaughter is 497,000 head is up 3,000 on the week and up 12,000 on the year. 

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