Market News

Live cattle futures higher ahead of On Feed numbers

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day higher on the week’s stronger cash trade and position squaring ahead of the Cattle on Feed report.  Feeder cattle were mixed, mostly lower on spread adjustments and the day’s lower move in wholesale values.  June live cattle closed $.40 higher at $98.80 and August live cattle closed $.60 higher at $98.22.  May feeder cattle closed $.02 higher at $126.02 and August feeder cattle closed $.12 lower at $128.87. 

Direct cash cattle trade activity was mostly quiet on Thursday.  But there was been a very light trade reported in Colorado at $117 live.  This following the light to moderate trade that took place in most areas on Wednesday at $120 live and dressed deals had a wide range of $175 to $190.  Asking prices are around $120 to $125 live and $190 to $195 dressed. 

At the Huss Livestock Market in Nebraska, compared to two weeks ago steers over 650 pounds were steady to $4 higher.  Heifers under 700 pounds were mostly $7 to $10 higher with instances of $15 higher.  Heifers over 700 pounds were steady to $1 higher.  The USDA says demand was good and the market was active especially for fall calves and yearling feeder cattle.  Receipts were down slightly on the week, but up on the year.  Feder supply included 58 percent steers and 75 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 750 to 799 pounds brought $130 to $137 and feeder steers 924 to 939 pounds brought $112 to $119.25.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 709 to 718 pounds brought $123.50 to $128.25 and feeder heifers 755 to 790 pounds brought $115.25 to $121.50. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for moderate to heavy offerings.  Choice is $2.23 lower at $401.81 and Select is $8.65 lower at $382.53.  The Choice/Select spread is $19.28. 

Estimated cattle slaughter is 103,000 head – up 11,000 on the week, but still down 16,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mixed on spread trade ahead of the release of the Cold Storage and Livestock Slaughter reports.  There was pressure from the lackluster export sales report and long-term supply and demand concerns. June lean hogs closed $2.47 higher at $59.35 and July lean hogs closed $1.37 higher at $57.17. 

Cash hogs ended the day higher.  Processors bid up to move more numbers Thursday afternoon.  Supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts are more than ample.  Processors are pushing slaughter levels higher and it is providing some much-needed relief to the supply chain.  However, the industry has by no means caught up with the backlog of hogs, although it appears they are making some progress.  It’s a delicate balance for packers to optimize the available shackle space and workforce.  The industry remains optimistic for strong demand on the global market, despite a less than stellar weekly Export Sales report from the USDA.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.42 higher with a base range of $33 to $42.50 for a weighted average of $39.37; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.38 higher for a weighted average of $40.91; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.58 higher for a weighted average of $41.11.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $20.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate to good demand for light to moderate offerings at $7 to $20.  Barrow and gilt prices were steady with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $16 to
$20.  Boars ranged from $1 to $5. 

Pork values closed lower – down $2.07 at $97.85.  Ribs and picnics were sharply lower.  Hams and butts were lower.  Bellies were higher.  Loins were steady.   Estimated hog slaughter is 398,000 head – up 7,000 on the week, but still down 72,000 on the year. 

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