Market News

Post-Thanksgiving Day cattle and hog trade very quiet

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were sharply lower on technical selling and some disappointment over recent direct cash and wholesale business. December live was down $4.22 at $170.25 and February was $4.30 lower at $170.97. January feeders were $7.80 lower at $219.32 and March was down $7.40 at $222.72.

Direct cash cattle trade was very quiet on Friday with no significant business taking place. The bulk of the week’s trade wrapped up prior to the Thanksgiving day holiday. There was a light to moderate round of direct cash cattle trade that took place on Wednesday. Live deals in the South were at $177, that’s $1 higher than Tuesday’s business and $1 lower than the prior week’s trade.  Dressed deals in Nebraska were at $280, fully steady with Tuesday business.

At the Knoxville Regional Feeder Cattle Sale in Iowa, there was an active trade with moderate demand for moderate offerings. USDA says there were many unweaned feeders with one or two rounds of shots. Receipts were more than 500 head higher than the most recent sale and up moderately on the year. Feeder supply included 48% steers and 38% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 512 to 547 pounds brought $276 to $298.50 and feeder steers 753 pounds sold for $229. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 486 to 498 pounds brought $215 to $235 and feeder heifers 552 to 584 pounds sold for $213.50 to $228.50.

Boxed beef was higher at the close on Friday. Choice was up $1.03 at $298.03 and Select was $1.14 higher at $268.76. The Choice/Select spread is $29.27.

Estimated cattle slaughter was 118,000 head – down 3,000 on the week and up 2,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were pressured by the continued uncertainties about pork demand and the red ink being experienced by many producers. December was $.70 lower at $67.57 and February was down $3.05 at $68.77.

Cash hogs were steady with light closing negotiated numbers at the major direct markets. Unsurprisingly, post-Thanksgiving Day trade was quiet with buyers apparently content to wait for next week to secure significant near-term ready numbers. The industry continued to watch for indications of holiday retail clearance and a potential slowdown in movement due to the onset of winter weather in parts of the region.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct had a base range of $55 to $60 and weighted average price of $57.49, however changes from the previous open trading day were not reported due to confidentiality. The Western Corn Belt had no comparison, but a weighted average price of $56.68. The Iowa/Minnesota and Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hogs at the Dorchester, Wisconsin markets are called steady at $55 on 345 head; sows are steady at $42 to $48; boars are marked at $15 to $18.

Estimated hog slaughter was 462,000 head – down 18,000 on the week and up 3,000 on the year.

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