Live cattle lower, feeders higher heading to Friday
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed lower, watching the direct markets, and feeders were higher on the drop in corn. August live cattle closed $1.05 lower at $133.87 and October live cattle closed $1.07 lower at $140. August feeder cattle closed $1.70 higher at $174.85 and September feeder cattle closed $1.55 higher at $176.85.
Thursday was a relatively active day for direct cash cattle trade. Deals were at mostly $234, $4 higher than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. A few regional deals have been noted at $238. Many of those are marked for delivery in July. Some live deals in the North were marked at $145 to $147 and $150. The South was quiet following the light trade that took place on Tuesday and Wednesday at $138, about $2 lower than last week’s weighted averages.
At the Mitchell Livestock Auction in South Dakota, compared to last week feeder steers 850 to 1000 pounds were steady to $1 higher and a higher undertone was noted on steers over 1000 pounds. Feeder heifers 800 to 1000 pounds were steady to $4 higher. The USDA says demand was good with most cattle going in large load lots. Receipts were down on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 57% steers and 98% off the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 920 pounds brought $163.25 to $164.60 and feeder steers 956 to 997 pounds brought $157.50 to $165.75. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 874 to 888 pounds brought $153.85 to $154.25 and feeder heifers 901 to 932 pounds brought $147.75 to $151.85.
Boxed beef was lower at midday on light demand for moderate offerings. Choice is $1.91 lower at $264.66 and Select is $1.05 lower at $244.94. The Choice/Select spread is $19.72. Estimated cattle slaughter 122,000 head – down 5,000 on the week and up 4,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day lower ahead of cold storage numbers. July lean hogs closed $3.30 lower at $108.55 and August lean hogs closed $4.65 lower at $103.67.
Cash hog closed mixed with a solid negotiated run. Processors started the day a little more aggressive in their procurement efforts. Demand for US pork has been relatively strong on the global market and domestically, helping provide some price support. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.63 lower with a base range of $110 to $126 and a weighted average of $120.82; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.04 higher with a weighted average of $124.39; the Western Corn Belt closed $.02 higher with a weighted average of $124.24. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $76. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 lower with light demand for light offerings at $40 to $52. Barrows and gilts were steady with light demand for light offerings at $71 to $80. Boars ranged from $45 to $50 and $10 to $15.
Pork values ended the day lower – down $1.38 at $109.77. Bellies dropped more than $14. Picnics and ribs were lower. Butts, loins, and hams were higher to sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 465,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and down 7,000 on the year.