Market News

Feeder cattle find support from lower corn

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were mostly lower and feeders were sharply higher, watching corn and the direct cash markets. Lower feed costs boost profitability for feeder cattle. December live was down $.55 at $151.40 and February was $.35 lower at $154.90. November feeders were up $2 at $178.92 and January was $1.80 higher at $180.

Direct cash cattle business has been scattered. The USDA says there’s been some very light trade this week at $149 live in Texas, $153 live in the Western Corn Belt, and $243 dressed in Nebraska, not enough to set a trend. Asking prices are $152 to $153 live, with nothing established yet for the dressed basis and no reported bids. The show list looks mixed, with larger offerings in Colorado, Nebraska, and Texas against lesser numbers in Kansas. At the Fed Cattle Exchange, seven lots were on offer, none sold.

Boxed beef closed higher with heavy movement. Choice was up $.84 at $263.47 and Select beef was $.43 higher at $233.16. The estimated cattle slaughter of 129,000 head was unchanged on the week and up 7,000 on the year.

At the Bassett Livestock Auction feeder cattle sale in Nebraska, there were a limited number of comparable offerings when compared to the previous week. 550-pound steers were $4 higher, with no trend reported on heifers. The USDA says demand was good with active bidding from the internet. Receipts were down on the week with no comparison to a year ago. 63% of the offering were steers and 64% of the total run weighed less than 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers weighing 500 to 600 pounds sold at $198 to $230.50 and 600 to 640-pound steers ranged from $203 to $211. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers weighing 400 to 500 pounds brought $195 to $216 and 500 to 600-pound heifers were reported at $180 to $202.50.

Lean hog futures were pressured by the steady to lower cash during the session. December was down $1.90 at $83.30 and February was $1.25 lower at $87.20.

Cash hogs were steady to modestly lower with solid negotiated sales. Buyers apparently didn’t find much resistance to lower bids during what’s been a mostly bearish week for wholesale business and were still able to move the needed near-term numbers. The average Iowa/Southern Minnesota barrow and gilt weight during the week ending October 29th was 284 pounds, down one tenth from the previous week and 5.6 from last year.

National direct barrows and gilts closed $.27 lower with a base price range of $80 to $95 for a weighted average of $89.48, with Iowa/Southern Minnesota down $.71 at $91.81 and the Western Corn Belt $.09 lower at $91.79. The Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison with a weighted average of $87.49.

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $58 in Dorchester, Wisconsin and lower at $65 in Red Oak, Iowa. Illinois direct sows were steady at $59 to $71 with light demand for moderate offerings. Barrows and gilts were steady at $58 to $68 on moderate demand and offerings. Boars ranged from $9 to $35.

Pork closed $.98 lower at $96.23. Butts, picnics, ribs, hams, and bellies were weak to sharply lower. Loins were up. The estimated hog slaughter of 488,000 head was up 4,000 on the week and 12,000 on the year. Tuesday’s slaughter was revised to 482,000 head, 7,000 less than the initial projection.

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