Market News

Feeder cattle pressured by higher move in corn

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day mixed, waiting for widespread direct business.  Feeder cattle closed lower, pressured by the days higher move in corn.  August live cattle closed $.20 lower at $96.27 and October live cattle closed $.32 lower at $99.72.  August feeder cattle closed $.65 lower at $132.85 and September feeder cattle closed $.90 lower at $133.37.   

A light direct cash cattle trade took place in parts of the North on Tuesday.  Dressed deals were $148 to $155, that’s about steady to $7 lower than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. Deals in Iowa were at $151 to $155. The rest of cattle country remains relatively quiet with bids and asking prices hard to find in the South.  Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange has an offering of 1,814 head.  Business so far this week has been scattered, Northern dressed deals on Monday were at $152 to mostly $153 and Southern live deals were marked at $91 to $92.  Both below the prior week’s weighted average basis. 

At the Callaway Livestock Center in Missouri, compared to last week steer calves 450 to 550 pounds were mostly steady with spots of $2 lower, steers 550 to 750 pounds were fully steady to firm.  Feeder heifers were mostly steady with a pot load of heifers trading $2 higher.  The USDA says demand was moderate to good with a moderate supply.  Receipts were down on the week.  Feeder supply included 58 percent steers and 52 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 610 to 646 pounds brought $146 to $157 and feeder heifers 879 to 891 pounds brought $128.35 to $128.60.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 453 to 495 pounds brought $146 to $156 and feeder heifers 610 pounds brought $137. 

Boxed beef closed weak to lower on light to moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings.  Choice closed $1.39 lower at $206.97 and Select closed $.81 lower at $199.90.  The Choice/Select spread is $7.07.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 121,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and down 2,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mixed, mostly higher on spread trade and conflicting fundamentals.  July lean hogs closed $.20 lower at $45.17 and August lean hogs closed $.57 higher at $49.09. 

Cash hogs closed mixed with large negotiated purchase totals.  Packers have been aggressive in their procurement efforts in this holiday-shortened week.  Supply and demand remain the focus of the market.  Supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts are more than ample.  Slaughter capacity continues to increase and that’s helping to keep the food supply chain moving, but it’s also adding more pork to the market.  This comes at a time when demand remains uncertain as the economy continues to remain under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic.  The industry remains optimistic demand for US pork on the global market.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.14 higher with a base range of $24 to $30.13 for a weighted average of $28.45; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.72 lower for a weighted average of $28.65; the Western Corn Belt closed $.08 lower for a weighted average of $28.53.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $20.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $9 to $20.  Barrow and gilt prices were steady with moderate to good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $12 to $20.  Boars ranged from $2 to $5. 

Pork values closed lower – down $2.09 at $63.12.  Bellies dropped nearly $15 for the day.  Ribs and loins were also lower.  Butts, hams and picnics were higher to sharply higher.  Estimated hog slaughter is 469,000 head – up 12,000 on the week, but down 11,000 on the year. 

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