Market News

Feeder cattle started the week mostly higher, keeping an eye on corn futures

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed mixed and feeder cattle were mostly higher watching corn and waiting for direct business to develop.  August live cattle closed $.07 higher at $120.25 and October live cattle closed $.50 lower at $125.10.  August feeder cattle closed $1.75 higher at $157.37 and September feeder cattle closed $.55 higher at $159.05. 

It was a quiet start to the week for direct cash cattle trade activity.  Showlists are lower across all major feeding areas.  Bids and asking prices have yet to surface.  Look for significant trade volume to be delayed until midweek or later. 

At midsession at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, feeder cattle and calves were unevenly steady.  The USDA says early demand has been moderate to good.  Receipts are down on the week and up on the year.  Feeder supply included 57% steers and 68% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 603 to 637 pounds brought $153 to $174 and feeder steers 753 to 794 pounds brought $148 to $157.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 553 to 591 pounds brought $149 to $157.50 and feeder heifers 658 to 699 pounds brought $144 to $156.50. 

Boxed beef closed sharply lower with light demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $1.45 lower at $266.49 and Select closed $2.30 lower at $249.49.  The Choice/Select spread is $17. Estimated cattle slaughter is 118,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and up 3,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day lower, pressured by the lower cash business and outside markets.  August lean hogs closed $1.17 lower at $104.47 and October lean hogs closed $1.37 lower at $89.37. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a fairly light negotiated run.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  Strong demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has provided a lot of support to the cash hog market recently and that is expected to continue.  However, should a disruption occur, it would likely send prices tumbling. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.08 lower with a base range of $104 to $112 and a weighted average of $106.24; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $110.36; the Western Corn Belt closed with a weighted average of $109.22.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are down $2 from the last reported test at $75. 

Pork values closed higher – up $1.91 at $121.85.  Bellies, ribs, and loins were all sharply higher.  Picnics and butts were higher. Hams were sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter 457,000 head – down 8,000 on the week and down 12,000 on the year. 

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