Market News

Hog, cattle futures start the week lower

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were lower ahead of this week’s direct cash business.  February live cattle closed $1.07 lower at $136.25 and April live cattle closed $1.47 lower at $140.57.  March feeder cattle closed $1.32 lower at $165.35 and April feeder cattle closed $1.42 lower at $169.45. 

It was a typically quiet Monday for direct cash cattle trade activity.  Showlists are mixed – higher in Texas, but lower in Kansas and Nebraska.  Bids and asking prices have yet to surface.  Look for significant trade volume to develop midweek or later. 

At midsession, at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week, feeder steers were unevenly steady.  Feeder heifers were $2 to $4 higher.  Steer and heifer calves were steady to $3 higher.  The USDA says demand is very good for calves and stocker cattle despite the ongoing dry weather.  Receipts were up significantly on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 55% steers and 49% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 600 to 649 pounds brought $165 to $180.50 and feeder steers 704 to 744 pounds brought $152.50 to $166.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 501 to 599 pounds brought $145 to $164 and feeder heifers 600 to 648 pounds brought $145 to $155. 

Boxed beef closed sharply higher on good demand for solid offerings.  Choice closed $4.22 higher at $276.04 and Select closed $5.40 higher at $266.50.  The Choice/Select spread is $9.54. Estimated cattle slaughter is 113,000 head – up 6,000 on the week and down 3,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures were pressured by fund liquidation.  February lean hogs closed $1.27 lower at $78.37 and April lean hogs closed $2.65 lower at $84.70. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a fairly light negotiated run. Processors have been aggressive in their procurement efforts recently and they have been bidding up to move their desired numbers.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong, which is expected to continue, at least, in the near term.   However, there are some long-term demand concerns and that’s been putting pressure on prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.06 lower with a base range of $60 to $69 and a weighted average of $65.89.  Prices at the regional direct markets were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are at $44. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand or moderate to heavy offerings at $31 to $50.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $40 to $48.  Boars ranged from $15 to $22 and $10 to $15.

Pork values closed higher – up $.52 at $86.42.  Ribs, loins, hams, and bellies were higher to sharply higher.  Picnics and butts were lower to sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 457,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and down 41,000 on the year.  Friday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 453,000 head. 

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