Market News

Cattle, hog futures lower to start the week

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were lower ahead of the week’s direct cash business.  December live cattle closed $1.32 lower at $185.35 and February live cattle closed $1.15 lower at $189.62.  November feeders closed $1.22 lower at $249.65 and January feeders closed $1.92 lower at $251.85. 

It was a quiet Monday for direct cash cattle business.  Showlists this week are mixed – higher in Nebraska/Colorado, somewhat lower in Kansas, and lower in Texas.  Bids and asking prices didn’t surface. It’s likely significant trade volume is going to hold out until at least Midweek or later. 

At mid-session, at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, feeder steers, and heifers were mostly steady, however offerings over 800 pounds were not well tested.  Weaned steer calves were $2 to $3 higher.  But, un-weaned or short-weaned steers were $3 to $6 lower.  Heifer calves were steady to $5 lower.  The UDSA says demand was good for feeders and long-weaned cattle, moderate for others.  Quality has been mostly average.  Receipts were up on the week and down on the year.  Feeder supply included 61% steers and 55% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 558 to 587 pounds brought $266 to $288 and feeder steers 605 to 647 pounds brought $263 to $280.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 618 to 646 pounds brought $240 to $249 and feeder heifers 664 to 696 pounds brought $235 to $241. 

Boxed beef closed higher on solid demand for moderate offerings.  Choice was $1.41 higher at $303.42 and Select closed $1.72 higher at $277.50.  The Choice/Select spread is $25.92.  Estimated cattle slaughter was 125,000 head – even on the week and down 1,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day lower on profit-taking and pressure from the steady to lower cash trade.  December lean hogs closed $1.10 lower at $72.47 and February lean hogs closed $.90 lower at $76.67. 

Cash hogs closed mixed with a fairly light negotiated run.  The story for the cash hog market recently has been it has failed to find consistency.  After a slow start to the day, processors did get a little more aggressive in their procurement efforts, but nothing major.  Near-term supplies of market-ready hogs are ample, and that’s allowing processors to move at their own pace to move needed numbers.  Demand for US pork on the global market has been relatively solid, but there are concerns domestic demand could hit a seasonal lull. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.89 higher with a base range of $68 to $76 and a weighted average of $74.81; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.24 lower with a weighted average of $75.04; the Western Corn Belt closed $.34 higher with a weighted average of $74.86.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $55. 

Pork values closed higher – up $1.84 at $95.06.  Bellies were sharply higher.  Ribs and loins were higher.  Hams, butts, and picnics were lower to sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 486,000 head – even on the week and down 1,000 on the year. 

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