Market News

Feeder cattle supported by lower corn

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mixed waiting for the week’s direct business to develop.  Feeders were higher on the lower move in corn.  February live cattle closed $.05 lower at $155.82 and April lives were unchanged at $159.57.  January feeder cattle closed $1.32 higher at $183.77 and March feeders closed $1.10 higher at $186.37.

It was a quiet start to the week for direct cash cattle trade business.  Showlists are mixed, higher in Nebraska/Colorado, but lower in Texas and Kansas.  Bids and asking prices have been slow to surface.  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 were unevenly steady on a light test.  Steer calves were $4 to $7 higher with spots of $12 higher.  Heifer calves over 450 pounds were unevenly steady and heifer calves under 450 pounds were $15 to $20 higher.  The USDA says demand for feeder steers and heifers was moderate to good and demand for calves was mostly good.  Receipts were up on the week and down on the year.  Feeder supply included 64% steers and 41% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 452 to 496 pounds brought $201 to $228 and feeder steers 659 to 687 pounds brought $176 to $190.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 500 to 549 pounds brought $165 to $177 and feeder heifers 559 to 593 pounds brought $172 to $184. 

Boxed beef closed sharply lower on light demand for fairly light offerings.  Choice was $6.62 lower at $243.31 and Select closed $3.45 lower at $221.11.  The Choice/Select spread is $22.20. Estimated cattle slaughter was 127,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 6,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mixed, adjusting spreads.  February lean hogs closed $.10 higher at $90.52 and April lean hogs were unchanged at $95.82. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a light negotiated run.  Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has held relatively strong, and while that is expected to continue the industry is monitoring the global economy and any further disruption would likely impact demand and lower prices.  Processors aren’t extremely aggressive in their procurement efforts to start the week, this has been the trend recently.  A couple of days of lackluster business at lower prices followed by a few days of big runs and sharply higher prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.53 lower with a base range of $74 to $86 and a weighted average of $81.69; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $2.04 lower with a weighted average of $84; the Western Corn Belt closed $2.20 lower with a weighted average of $83.84.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.   

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady today at $60. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 lower with moderate demand for light offerings at $44 to $56.  Barrows and gilts were $1 lower with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $57 to $67.  Boars ranged from $15 to $20 to $10.

Pork values closed lower – down $2.48 at $86.46. Bellies and hams were sharply lower.   Butts were lower.  Picnics, loins, and ribs were all higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 491,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and up 46,000 on the year. 

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