Feeder cattle futures close higher ahead of on-feed numbers
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle futures were mixed, mostly higher on spread adjustment ahead of Friday’s Cattle on Feed report. Feeder cattle were higher ahead of the report with additional support from the day’s lower move in corn. April live cattle closed $.97 lower at $84.07 and June live cattle closed $.30 lower at $82.62. April feeder cattle closed $.37 higher at $119.80 and May feeder cattle closed $.17 higher at $117.45.
It’s been another week of really light direct cash cattle trade. Some business finally developed on Friday with live deals in parts of Texas at $95, that’s $10 lower than prior week’s weighted averages. There was a light to moderate trade develop earlier in the week across cattle country, and dressed deals had a huge range of $148 to $160 with live deals ranging from $95 to $100.
In Missouri last week, feeder steers and heifers were mostly steady to $2 higher, with some heavier weights $3 to $5 higher. Markets were very uneven and some auction trends stretched from $6 lower to $10 higher. The market volatility over the last month has made it extremely difficult for both buyers and sellers. The USDA says demand was moderate, especially for the larger load lots of feeders. Feeder supply included 53 percent steers and 44 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 600 to 648 pounds brought $118 to $153 and feeder steers 750 to 796 pounds brought $117 to $136. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 500 to 549 pounds brought $121 to $150.50 and feeder heifers 600 to 649 pounds brought $110 to $140.
The weekly hay summary for the South Dakota hay market has alfalfa hay steady. There were too few comparable sales of other hay types to make price comparisons. The USDA says demand was moderate to good for fair quality alfalfa to replace dried distillers’ grains in rations as ethanol plants are going offline. There were very large offerings at hay markets again this week. Alfalfa: fair large rounds brought $120. Utility large rounds brought $110. Sun-cured alfalfa pellets: 15 percent protein brought $230; 17 percent protein brought $235. Alfalfa meal 17 percent protein brought $240. Grass: Good large rounds brought $120. Alfalfa/Grass mix: fair large rounds brought $100.
Boxed beef closed sharply higher on heavy demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $9.08 higher at $293.37 and Select closed $6.13 higher at $279.02. The Choice/Select spread is $14.35. Estimated cattle slaughter is 83,000 head – down 4,000 on the week and down 31,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 47,000 head – up 12,000 on the week and down 4,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day mostly higher on follow-through buying and the recent higher trend in pork values. May lean hogs closed $1.55 higher at $52.52 and June lean hogs closed $.10 lower at $51.52.
Cash hogs closed weak to lower with moderate negotiated numbers. The hog market remains under immense pressure as supplies of market-ready hogs are more than ample and not only is there a demand lull, processing facility shutdowns and slowdowns are causing backups of hogs at the producer level. There is still optimism that demand for US pork on the global market will continue to increase, but there is a growing concern there could be a prolonged disruption to the pork supply chain. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.53 lower with a base range of $31 to $38 for a weighted average of $34.20; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $2.63 lower for a weighted average of $34.21; the Western Corn Belt closed $2.56 lower for a weighted average of $33.91. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
According to the USDA, early-weaned pigs were $1.50 per head lower and all feeder pigs were $2.50 lower. Demand was light to moderate for moderate to heavy offerings. Receipts included 41 percent formulated prices. Total composite formula range was $17.63 to $40.50 for a weighted average of $28.64. Total composite cash range was $1 to $8 for an average of $3.97. Total composite cash range for feeder pigs was $15 to $22 for an average of $17.66. Total Composite weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $16.16 and the average for all feeder pigs was $17.66.
No butcher hog sales as Midwest cash markets are closed today. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were weak at $15 to $28 with moderate to good demand for moderate to heavy offerings. Barrow and gilt prices were weak, with light demand for heavy offerings at $10 to $18. Boars brought $2 to $5.
Pork values closed higher – up $1.11 at $77.48. Picnics and loins closed sharply higher. Ribs and hams were higher. Butts were lower and bellies were sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 361,000 head – down 58,000 on the week and down 88,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 191,000 head – down 23,000 on the week and up 46,000 on the year. Thursday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 361,000 head.