Cattle, hog futures higher on oversold signals
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle futures ended the day sharply higher on oversold signals with support from the sharply higher wholesale values. Feeder cattle were higher on the same factors with additional support from the day’s lower move in corn. April live cattle closed $4.50 higher at $96.35 and June live cattle closed $4.50 higher at $89.75. March feeder cattle closed $5.05 higher at $113.50 and April feeder cattle closed at $110.87, $2.77 higher.
A light to moderate trade is underway in parts of cattle country. Deals in Nebraska are at $110, steady with some of yesterday’s business and roughly $1 higher than last week’s weighted averages. Dressed deals in Nebraska and Iowa are also at $175, about steady with last week’s weighted averages. There’s also been a light live trade in Kansas at $110. Asking prices are firm at $112 to $115 live and $172 dressed.
At the Callaway Livestock Center in Missouri, compared to last week there was a very light offering of steers and heifer calves. The bulk of the sales were yearling steers weighing 850 to 900 pounds with no comparisons, but with a sharply lower undertone. Receipts of 556 head were down significantly on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 89 percent steers and 81 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 850 to 860 pounds brought $112 to $116. Feeder steers 906 brought $111. Medium and Large 1 to 2 heifers 500 to 548 pounds brought $111 to $121.
Boxed beef closed sharply higher again today on good demand and heavy offerings. Choice closed $15.57 higher at $239.93 and Select closed $12.61 higher at $229.32. The Choice/Select spread is $10.61. Estimated cattle slaughter is 121,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and even on the year.
Lean hog futures closed higher on oversold signals with added support from the higher cash trade and sharply higher wholesale values during the session. April lean hogs closed $4.50 higher at $58.47 and May lean hogs closed $4.47 higher at $62.67.
Cash hogs closed sharply higher with a massive negotiated sales number. Packers are working overtime to move big numbers this week, likely as a preventative measure in case a packing plant were to shut down. Supplies of ready barrows and gilts are more than ample and there with record or near-record slaughter totals almost daily there will continue to be more pork coming online. Domestic demand has remained strong and that has been largely supportive to prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.06 higher with a base range of $48 to $58 for a weighted average of $55.44; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $2.16 higher for a weighted average of $55.82; the Western Corn Belt closed $2.10 higher for a weighted average of $55.74; the Eastern Corn Belt closed $1.68 higher for a weighted average of $54.78.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $36.
Pork values closed higher – up $1.04 at $74.42. Loins, ribs, picnics, and butts were higher to sharply higher. Hams were weak. And bellies ended up dropping $6 after being up more than $36 at midday. Estimated hog slaughter is 498,000 head -even on the week and up 27,000 on the year.