Market News

Lower cash trade pressures cattle futures

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed lower and feeder cattle mostly lower, pressured by the week’s slightly lower cash trade.  Feeder cattle had additional pressure from the day’s higher move in corn.  October live cattle closed $.60 lower at $107.7 and December live cattle closed $.72 lower at $109.55.  October feeder cattle closed $.55 higher at $138.92 and November feeder cattle closed $.15 higher at $136.47. 

Another round of very light, scattered direct cash cattle trade took place on Thursday.  Deals in Nebraska were at $169 dressed and $108 live, fully steady with Wednesday’s business.  There was a light to moderate trade that took place across most areas on Wednesday with Southern live deals at $108, $.50 to $1 lower than last week’s weighted averages.  Northern dressed business was at mostly $169, about $1 lower than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  Look for some cleanup business to take place on Friday. 

At the Mitchell Livestock Auction in South Dakota, compared to last week there was a lower undertone on steers.  Steers 900 to 950 pounds were $4 lower.  There was also a lower undertone noted on heifers and heifers 850 to 900 pounds were $1 lower.  There were many load lots in the day’s offering and demand was good.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 39 percent steers and 93 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 826 to 845 pounds brought $138.50 to $143.50 and feeder steers 904 to 944 pounds brought $134.10 to $139.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 852 to 888 pounds brought $128 to $133. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for heavy offerings.  Choice closed $.66 lower at $210.48 and Select closed $2.77 lower at $196.50.  The Choice/Select spread is $13.98.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – up 3,000 on the week and 9,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed mixed on spread adjustments.  All eyes will be on Friday’s Export Sales numbers (which were delayed by the USDA’s Monday holiday).  December lean hogs closed $1.45 higher at $69.87 and February lean hogs closed $.32 higher at $71.42. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a big negotiated run. Packers bid up on Thursday to move their desired numbers.  Despite ample supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts and large daily slaughter runs, the industry remains optimistic demand for US pork will see a big boost on the global market.  That’s been helping to limit losses and even provide some price support.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.65 higher with a base range of $56 to $67 for a weighted average of $63.63; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.51 higher with a weighted average of $64.45; the Western Corn Belt closed $.39 higher for a weighted average of $64.43.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $50. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with good demand for moderate offerings at $20 to $34.  Barrow and gilt prices were steady with good demand for moderate offerings at $41 to $45.  Boars ranged from $1 to $5. 

Pork values closed sharply higher – up $4.85 at $101.42.  Hams and bellies both closed sharply higher.  Loins closed higher.  Butts were steady.  Picnics and ribs closed weak and sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 490,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and down 2,000 on the year. 

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