Market News

Live cattle futures mixed, feeders higher

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were mixed and feeders were up, watching corn and waiting for the week’s direct business to develop. August live was down $.62 at $178.05 and October was $.45 lower at $179.50. August feeders were up $.45 at $244.65 and September was $.82 higher at $248.27.

Direct cash cattle trade ended the day with just a few bids on the table. Asking prices in the South were around $180 to $182, but are still not established in the North. Packer inquiry should continue to improve, but significant trade volume is likely on Friday.

At Mitchell Livestock Auction in South Dakota, feeder steers 900 to 1050 pounds sold steady to $5 lower compared to the most recent sale, while feeder heifers 900 to 950 pounds sold $4 lower. USDA says there were many large load lots in Thursday’s offering and demand was good. There were lower numbers reported due to the extreme heat in the area. USDA is expecting 2,000 head of feeders at the next auction. Feeder supply included 75% steers and 98% of the offering was over 600 pounds.

Boxed beef was steady to lower at Thursday’s close. Choice was $.48 lower at $302.86 and Select was down $.05 at $279.76. The Choice/Select spread was $23.10.

Estimated cattle slaughter was 126,000 head – even on the week and up 7,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were mostly lower on spread trade and uncertainties about sustained pork demand, with a mixed week for the wholesale market. August was up $.37 at $102.02 and October was down $.37 at $83.25.

Cash hogs were mixed, mostly steady-to-lower with a very light closing negotiated run for the major direct markets. It looks like many buyers had the needed near-term numbers in hand after Wednesday’s sizable negotiated sales at modestly higher prices. That also likely sets the stage for more steady/lower business Friday. Pork exports of 25,500 tons were up 33% on the week, mostly to Mexico.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were $2.78 lower with a base range of $95 to $108 and weighted average of $103.53. The Iowa/Minnesota was $1.33 lower with a weighted average of $105.23. The Western Corn Belt was down $1.36 with a weighted average of $105.17. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hogs in Dorchester, Wisconsin were steady at $69. The Garnavillo, Iowa markets are closed. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices are $2 higher with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $35 to $47, barrows and gilts are steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $60 to $70, and boars are $15 to $25 and $5 to $10.

Pork values closed steady to higher – up $1.98 at $114.73.

Estimated hog slaughter was 471,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and up 14,000 on the year.

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