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Cattle, hog futures pressured by lower cash trade

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day lower on follow-through selling and weaker cash business.  August live cattle closed $.47 lower at $134.92 and October lives closed $.37 lower at $139.55.  August feeder cattle closed $2.55 lower at $176.35 and September feeders closed $1.95 lower at $179.67. 

It was a quiet Friday for direct cash cattle business following the moderate trade that took place earlier in the week.  Deals for the week were at mostly $137 live in the South, about steady with the previous week’s weighted averages.  Dressed deals in the North were at mostly $230, about $2 below the prior week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. 

At the Mitchell Livestock Auction in South Dakota, compared to last week there was a much higher undertone noted on steers.  Steers 1000 to 1,200 pounds were unevenly steady.  Heifers 750 to 850 pounds were $3 to $7 higher and heifers 850 to 1000 pounds were unevenly steady.  The USDA says demand was good with many large load lots in the day’s offering.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 46% steers and 98% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 847 pounds brought $194.85 and feeder steers 951 to 976 pounds brought $158.25 to $169.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 855 to 897 pounds brought $154.50 to $160 and feeder heifers 903 to 922 pounds brought $154.50 to $155.75. 

In Nebraska, compared to last week, alfalfa squares bales in the western part of the state were $5 to $10 higher.  In all other areas, alfalfa was steady on a light test.  Ground and delivered hay was steady.  Range conditions have deteriorated in many areas and buyer inquiry has picked up.  There’s also been some reports of early-weaning calves to help reduce grazing pressure.  The second cutting tonnage, especially on dryland alfalfa is about ½ of a normal year.  Alfalfa, premium, large squares brought $250.  In the East, Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $150 to $160.  Brome grass, good, small squares brought $8.  Grass, good large rounds brought $165.  Rye grass, large rounds brought $75.  In the Platte Valley area, ground alfalfa brought $205 to $210.  Pellets 17% protein brought $305 to $310.  In the West, Alfalfa, premium, large squares brought $250.  Alfalfa, good/premium large squares brought $240.  Alfalfa, ground, brought $225.

Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for light offerings.  Choice is $1.16 higher at $268.91 and Select closed $.12 lower at $241.79.  The Choice/Select spread is $27.12. Estimated cattle slaughter 123,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and up 4,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 54,000 head – down 34,000 on the week and even on the year. 

Lean hog futures were mostly lower, pressured by the weak cash trade.  August lean hogs closed $.25 higher at $109.82 and October lean hogs closed $.75 lower at $92.60. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a fairly light negotiated run.  Processors moved their desired numbers without having to aggressively bid up.  While demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong, there are long-term concerns adding uncertainty to the markets.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.46 lower with a base range of $111 to $127 and a weighted average of $117.99; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.47 lower with a weighted average of $123.43; the Western Corn Belt closed $.20 lower with a weighted average of $124.76.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

According to the USDA’s Feeder Pig Report, early-weaned pigs and all feeder pigs were steady to $1 per head higher.  Demand was moderate for light offerings.  Total Composite cash range was $31 to $45 with a weighted average of $39.84.  Total Composite Formula Range was $35.36 to $50.51 and a weighted average of $41.86.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $40.80 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $63.22. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $80. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $42 to $54.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $74 to $83.  Boars ranged from $45 to $50 and $10 to $15. 

Pork values closed sharply higher – up $3.67 at $122.18.  Loins, ribs, butts, bellies, and hams were all sharply higher.  Picnics were higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 436,000 head – down 20,000 on the week and up 10,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 22,000 head – down 96,000 on the week and up 8,000 on the year. 

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