Cattle futures higher on an oversold bounce
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day sharply higher on an oversold bounce ahead of widespread direct business. Feeder cattle were sharply higher on the same factors. April live cattle closed $2.62 higher at $101.92 and June live cattle closed $3 higher at $92.07. April feeder cattle closed $1.87 higher at $121.92 and May feeder cattle closed $2 higher at $122.90.
Direct cash cattle trade activity is still very quiet. Packer inquiry has been limited. There were a handful of deals reported in Nebraska at $180 dressed. Early asking prices have surfaced in the South $120 plus live and $190 plus dressed in the North. Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange has an offering of 4,696 head. It’s likely significant trade volume will be delayed until the latter half of the week.
At the Callaway Livestock Center in Missouri, compared to last week’s light test, a light test of 400 to 500-pounds steers sold with a lower undertone, 500 to 550-pounds steers were weak to $5 lower, with 6 weight steers and a pot load of 765 pounds steers steady. Feeder heifers on a good offering were not well tested, but sold with a firm to higher undertone. The USDA says demand was moderate to good with supply moderate to heavy. Buyers were active on the overall nice offering of cattle. Receipts of 2,402 head were up significantly on the week and on the year. Feeder supply included 45 percent steers and 57 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 550 to 576 pounds brought $152 to $159 and feeder steers 652 to 665 pounds brought $145.50 to $150.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 606 to 632 pounds brought $134.50 to $134.75 and feeder heifers 679 to 685 pounds brought $130.25 to $134.75.
Boxed beef closed sharply lower on light demand and light to moderate offerings. Select and Choice loin cuts were weak to lower, while rib, chuck, and round cuts were lower. Choice closed $7.82 lower at $234.15 and Select closed $9.18 lower at $228.96. The Choice/Select spread closed at $14.19.
Estimated cattle slaughter is 119,000 head – down 4,000 on the week and down 3,000 on the year. Monday’s cattle slaughter has been revised to 117,000 head.
Lean hog futures ended the day mostly higher on spread adjustments and oversold signals. April lean hogs closed $1.75 lower at $52.20 and May lean hogs closed $.15 lower at $52.97.
Cash hogs ended the day weak with moderate negotiated purchase numbers. After aggressively moving big numbers, packers seemed to back off their procurement efforts. There are concerns creeping into the market about the overall supply and demand picture. Demand for US pork has been strong, but there are questions about how long that will last. At the same time, the availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample. And we’ve seen pork cutout values quickly been eroding. The one silver lining is the global protein shortage. And as long as production isn’t disrupted, US pork is well-positioned to fill the holes left by the African swine fever outbreak. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily direct closed $.82 lower with a base range of $46 to $61 for a weighted average of $53.63; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.65 lower for a weighted average of $55.55; the Western Corn Belt closed $.82 lower for a weighted average of $55.33; the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $52.30.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $36.
Pork values closed sharply lower – down $5.67 at $65.04. All of the primals were sharply lower. With hams, picnics, and butts taking the hardest hits today. Estimated hog slaughter is 493,000 head – down 5,000 on the week and up 18,000 on the year.