Cattle, hog futures end the day limit down

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Cattle, hog futures end the day limit down

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle futures ended the day limit down on follow-through selling, weakness in the wholesale values, sharply lower cash trade, and broader market pressure.  April live cattle closed $4.50 lower at $97.32 and June live cattle closed $4.50 lower at $87.57.  April feeder cattle closed $4.50 lower at $117.42 and May feeder cattle closed $4.50 lower at $118.40. 

A light direct cash cattle trade is underway in parts of cattle country. Live deals in Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas are at $112, that’s about $7 lower than last week’s weighted averages.  Those deals in Nebraska are marked for delayed delivery. There were a few dressed bids in the North at mostly $180, $9 lower than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. The lone bid that has surfaced at $180 dressed.  Asking prices are firm around $120 live and $190 dressed. 

At the Oklahoma West Livestock Auction, compared to last week feeder steers $10 to $15 lower and feeder heifers were $8 to $12 lower.  There was no trend available due to limited comparable sales.  Demand was light to moderate and quality was plain to average, with a few attractive.  There were several strings of thinner fleshed cattle on offer.  Receipts were up on the week and even on the year.  Feeder supply included 61 percent steers and 80 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 605 to 611 pounds brought $135 to $143 and feeder steers 701 to 742 pounds brought $120.25 to $127.  Feeder steers 850 to 889 pounds brought $106 to $115.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 700 to 731 pounds brought $103 to $123 and feeder heifers 753 to 799 pounds brought $100.50 to $101.50. 

Boxed beef closed sharply lower again today on light demand and moderate offerings.  Select and Choice rib, chuck, and loin cuts were weak to lower while round cuts higher.  Choice closed $7.98 lower at $235.17 and Select closed $3.83 lower at $225.13.  The Choice/Select spread is $10.04.    

Estimated cattle slaughter is 116,000 head – down 6,000 on the week and the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day limit down, pressured by sharply lower cash and wholesale prices and broader market pressure.  April lean hogs closed $3.00 lower at $49.20 and May lean hogs closed $3.00 lower at $49.97. 

Cash hogs were lower to sharply lower with moderate negotiated numbers. There’s concern domestic demand could be falling off.  The drastic drop in wholesale values is fueling that concern.  At the same time, supplies of ready barrows and gilts are heavy, so there is no shortage of hogs.  The industry continues to monitor the coronavirus outbreak and how it could impact processing in the US.  If there is a disruption, it would send hog prices tumbling.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct dropped $4.63 today with a base range of $40 to $59 for a weighted average of $48.55; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $4.11 lower for a weighted average of $50.79; the Western Corn Belt is $3.89 lower for a weighted average of $50.79.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady in Dorchester, Wisconsin and Garnavillo, Iowa at $36.  Prices are $1 lower at Red Oak, Iowa at $35. 

Pork values continued their slide – down $2.99 at $62.05.  Butts dropped $18.05 and ribs dropped $10.01.  Bellies were also sharply lower.  Loins and picnics are weak.  Hams closed higher.  Estimated hog slaughter is 485,000 head – down 13,000 on the week and up 3,000 on the year. 

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