Market News

Live cattle, hogs sharply lower heading into Friday

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day lower following a lower-than-expected export sales report, and feeder cattle were mixed on spread adjustments, with the sharply lower corn helping to limit losses.  June live cattle closed $2.20 lower at $120.10 and August live cattle closed $3.82 lower at $121.10.  August feeder cattle closed $.30 lower at $157.40 and September feeder cattle closed $.70 lower at $159.10. 

Direct cash cattle trade was relatively quiet on Thursday.  There was a little scattered trade reported in Nebraska with deals reported up to $200 and in Iowa at $192 to $195 dressed.  Asking prices for cattle left on showlists are around $122 plus live in the South and $195 to $197 dressed in the North.  So far this week Southern live deals have had a full range of $120 to $123, mostly $122, $2 higher than last week’s weighted averages, and dressed deals in the North have ranged from $193 to $197, mostly $195, $4 higher than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. 

At the Huss Livestock Market in Nebraska, compared to two weeks ago feeder steers over 650 pounds were steady to $3 higher and heifers over 700 pounds were mostly steady.  The USDA says demand was good from the buyers in the crowd.  Receipts were up on the week and on the year.  Feeder supply included 65% steers and 83% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 817 to 823 pounds brought $147 to $150 and feeder steers 922 to 926 pounds brought $140 to $142.25.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 787 pounds brought $133 and feeder heifers 923 pounds brought $130. 

Boxed beef closed sharply lower with light demand for moderate offerings.  Choice is $2.92 lower at $326.25 and Select is $2.72 lower at $287.24.  The Choice/Select spread is $39.01. Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 1,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day sharply lower on follow-through selling with additional pressure from the lower cash trade during the session. July lean hogs closed $4.50 lower at $111 and August lean hogs closed $4.50 lower at $107.20. 

Cash hogs closed sharply lower with a solid negotiated run.  Processors continue to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  The strong demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has provided a lot of price support recently.  For the most part the industry expects that to continue.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $6.17 lower with a base range of $114.50 to $137 and a weighted average of $122.28; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $132.98; the Western Corn Belt has a weighted average of $131.26; the Eastern Corn Belt had a weighted average of $119.89.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash market are steady at $75. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 lower with good demand for heavy offerings at $38 to $48.  Barrow and gilt prices were $4 to $7 higher with good demand for heavy offerings at $84 to $91.  Boars ranged from $45 to $50 and $12 to $18. 

Pork values closed sharply higher – up $4.31 at $124.80.  Bellies closed nearly $35 higher.  Loins were also sharply higher.  Ribs dropped nearly $28.  Picnics, butts, and hams were all lower to sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 478,000 head – down 4,000 on the week and up 13,000 on the year.  Wednesday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 477,000 head. 

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