Market News

Live cattle, hogs higher to start the week

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day higher and feeders closed lower, watching corn and the direct markets.  August live cattle closed $.60 higher at $119.82 and October live cattle closed $.22 higher at $125.80.  August feeder cattle closed $1.02 lower at $158.15 and September feeder cattle closed $.82 lower at $161. 

A slow start to the week for direct cash cattle trade activity.  Bids and asking prices have yet to be established.  Showlists this week are mixed, higher in Nebraska/Colorado, but lower in Texas and in Kansas.  Look for significant trade volume to develop as the week progresses. 

At midsession, the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week feeder steers and heifers were $3 to $5 higher.  Steer calves were $1 to $2 higher and heifer calves were $3 to $5 higher.  The USDA says demand was good for all classes.  Receipts were down slightly on the week and up on the year.  Feeder supply included 53% steers and 64% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 652 to 697 pounds brought $156 to $164 and feeder steers 700 to 733 pounds brought $153 to $163.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 507 to 546 pounds brought $145.50 to $156 and feeder heifers 603 to 646 pounds brought $140 to $153. 

Boxed beef closed mixed with light to moderate demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $3.59 lower at $275 and Select closed $1.36 higher at $258.78.  The Choice/Select spread is $16.23.  Estimated cattle slaughter 120,000 head – up 5,000 on the year.  Saturday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 88,000 head. 

Lean hog futures are supported by the higher midday pork, export demand expectations, and most contracts’ discount to cash.  July lean hogs closed $1.47 higher at $112.57 and August lean hogs closed $2.50 higher at $104.07. 

Cash hogs closed sharply lower with a very light negotiated run.  Processors continue to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  Overall, the strong demand for US pork on the global market has helped provide some price support, which the industry expects to continue.  However, should a disruption occur, it will likely spending prices tumbling.   Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $4.12 lower with a base range of $106 to $116 and a weighted average of $107.74; the Iowa/Minnesota closed with a weighted average of $115.33 and the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $115.33.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash market are $5 lower at $75. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 to $3 higher with good demand for heavy offerings at $52 to $63.  Barrow and gilt prices were $1 lower with moderate to good demand for heavy offerings at $72 to $79.  Boars ranged from $45 to $50 and $10 to $12. 

Pork values closed higher – up $1.29 at $117.73.  Bellies, ribs, and hams were all sharply higher.  Loins and picnics were higher. Butts were lower. Estimated hog slaughter 457,000 head – up 8,000 on the year. 

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