Market News

Live cattle, hog futures start the week lower

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were lower on profit-taking and feeders were mixed, mostly higher on spread trade and the lower corn.  June live cattle closed $.92 lower at $116.75 and August live cattle closed $.82 lower at $120.10.  May feeder cattle closed $.95 lower at $136.27 and August feeder cattle closed $.42 higher at $154.12. 

It was a typically quiet start to the week for direct cash cattle trade activity.  Bids and asking prices were non-existent. Showlists this week are mixed – somewhat higher in Texas and Kansas, but lower in Nebraska/Colorado.  Look for business to pick up as the week progresses. 

At midsession at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week feeder steers were $1 to $2 higher and feeder heifers were $3 to $6 higher.  The USDA says demand was good for feeder cattle, however, steer and heifer calves were not well tested last week for an accurate comparison this week.  Quality was average to attractive with several large strings of cattle offered.  Feeder supply included 47 percent steers and 79 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 854 pounds to 880 brought $123 to $137.50 and feeder steers 909 to 945 pounds brought $120 to $135.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 600 to 635 pounds brought $133.50 to $143 and feeder heifers 755 to 799 pounds brought $119 to $130. 

Boxed beef closed higher on good demand for moderate offerings.  Choice is $2.66 higher at $327.83 and Select is $1.08 higher at $303.39.  The Choice/Select spread is $24.44. Estimated cattle slaughter is 119,000, up 4,000 on the week. 

Lean hog futures ended the day lower on profit-taking and the lower cash trade during the session.  June lean hogs closed $.87 lower at $113.35 and July lean hogs closed $1.22 lower at $115.32. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a moderate negotiated run.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  Packers bid up Monday afternoon to move their desired numbers.  The recent demand strength on both the global market and domestically has been supportive to prices.  The industry expects that to continue. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.51 higher with a base range of $101.17 to $116 and a weighted average of $109.31. The Iowa/Minnesota closed $.82 higher with a weighted average of $113.63 and the Western Corn Belt closed $1.11 higher with a weighted average of $113.66.  The Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $106.25.    

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash market have no comparison at $80, however, they’re $7 higher than Friday’s reported prices.   

Pork values closed higher – up $1.35 at $122.21.  Ribs and hams were both sharply higher.  Butts were higher.  Bellies were weak and loins and picnics were lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 482,000 head, up 4,000 on the week.

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