Market News

Feeder cattle supported by sharply lower corn

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day mixed waiting for direct business to develop and the mixed boxed beef.  Feeder cattle were sharply higher on the sharply lower move in corn.  August live cattle closed $.40 higher at $122.40 and October live cattle closed $.07 higher at $128.15.  August feeder cattle closed $3.57 higher at $160.62 and September feeder cattle closed $3.30 higher at $162.72. 

It was a quiet start to direct cash cattle trade activity for the holiday-shortened week.  Showlists are fully higher in Texas, somewhat higher in Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado.  Bids and asking prices have yet to surface.  It’s likely significant trade will wait until Wednesday or later. 

In Missouri last week, feeder steers and heifers were steady to $3 higher.  The USDA says supply was moderate and demand as moderate to good with load lots of yearlings in the highest demand as they are harder to find this time of year.  Feeder supply included 60% steers and 64% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 750 to 798 pounds brought $136 to $156.35 and feeder steers 805 to 847 pounds brought $128 to $155.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 550 to 598 pounds brought $130 to $167 and feeder heifers 650 to 699 pounds brought $135 to $155. 

Boxed beef closed mixed with light to moderate demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $1.24 higher at $286.68 and Select closed $1.10 lower at $263.31.  The Choice/Select spread is $23.37. Estimated cattle slaughter 122,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and up 5,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mostly lower, pressured by the recent weakness in the cash trade and demand uncertainty.  July lean hogs closed $1.27 higher at $109.92 and August lean hogs closed $2.12 higher at $102.35. 

Cash hogs had no comparison with moderate negotiated purchases.  Processors continue to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  The overall demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has provided some price support recently.  The industry does expect that to continue, however, should a disruption occur, it would likely send prices tumbling. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct had no comparison with a base range of $107 to $117 with a weighted average of $110.23 and the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $115.78.  Prices at the Iowa/Minnesota and the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.    

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $2 higher than last week at $80. 

Pork values closed lower – down $1.58 at $113.61.  Loins were sharply lower.  Bellies were also lower.  Hams, butts, ribs, and picnics were all higher to sharply higher.  Estimated hog slaughter 466,000 head – up 5,000 on the week and down 7,000 on the year. 

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