Market News

Cattle, hog futures start the week higher

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day higher supported by higher boxed beef prices.  August live cattle closed $.05 higher at $122.12 and October live cattle closed $.07 higher at $127.27.  August feeder cattle closed $.07 higher at $158.25 and September feeder cattle closed $.17 higher at $161.97. 

Direct cash cattle trade activity started the week quietly.  Showlists this week are higher in Nebraska/Colorado, somewhat smaller in Kansas, and lower in Texas.  Bids and asking prices have yet to be established.  Significant trade volume will likely be delayed until midweek or later. 

At midsession at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week feeder steers and heifers are steady to $3 lower.  Steer and heifer calves are $2 to $5 lower.  The USDA says demand was moderate.  Feeder supply included 58% steers and 67% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 756 to 787 pounds brought $152 to $163.50 and feeder steers 800 to 836 pounds brought $148 to $156.75.  Medium and large 1 feeder heifers 659 to 699 pounds brought $146 to $157 and feeder heifers 867 to 895 pounds brought $131 to $135. 

Boxed beef closed sharply higher on good demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $2.54 higher at $281 and Select closed $4.19 higher at $263.38.  The Choice/Select spread is $17.62. Estimated cattle slaughter 119,000 head – even on the week and up 7,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day higher, supported by higher pork values and long-term demand optimism.  August lean hogs closed $1.30 higher at $107.50 and October lean hogs closed $1.47 higher at $89.50. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a light negotiated run. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  Overall, demand for US pork has been strong on both the global market and domestically, which has been supportive to prices.  The industry expects that to continue, however, should a disruption occur prices would likely tumble.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.70 lower with a base range of $100 to $102.47 and weighted average of $101.  Prices at the regional direct markets were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $3 lower from last week’s test at $70.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $3 higher with good demand for heavy offerings at $64 to $83.  Barrow and gilt prices were $1 lower with moderate to good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $64 to $74.  Boars ranged from $45 to $50 and $10 to $12. 

Pork values closed sharply higher – up $4.82 at $128.71.  All of the primals ended the day higher, with hams up more than $10.  Bellies, ribs, and butts were also sharply higher.  Estimated hog slaughter 414,000 head – down 49,000 on the week and down 12,000 on the year.  Friday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 424,000 head. 

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