Cattle, hog futures start the week on a positive note
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day higher on follow-through buying, the sharply higher wholesale values, and optimism that the industry will start to see an increase in processing capacity as more packing facilities start to come online. Feeder cattle were higher on the same factors with additional support from the day’s lower move in corn. June live cattle closed $.82 higher at $88.07 and August live cattle closed $.50 higher at $93.05. May feeder cattle closed $1.25 higher at $119.07 and August feeder cattle closed $1.32 higher at $128.97.
Direct cash cattle trade activity is has started the week quietly with bids and asking prices yet to surface. Showlists appear to be higher in Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado and significantly higher in Texas. There’s hope we’ll see some increased activity as the week progresses, after last week’s light business. But, it’s likely significant trade volume will be delayed until the latter half of the week.
At midsession at the Joplin Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to last week steer and heifer calves were steady to $5 lower, yearlings were steady to firm. The USDA says demand was moderate and supply was heavy. Receipts were up on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 66 percent steers and 53 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 657 to 692 pounds brought $130 to $143.50 and feeder steers 754 to 793 pounds brought $114 to $128. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 708 to 749 pounds brought $115 to $125.50 and feeder heifers 902 to 944 pounds brought $92 to $110.
Boxed beef closed sharply higher on heavy demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $32.60 higher at $410.05 and Select closed $19.53 higher at $376.66. The Choice/Select spread is $33.39. Estimated cattle slaughter is 75,000, down 2,000 on the week and down 43,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day higher to sharply higher on follow-through buying and the pork’s recent move higher. May lean hogs closed $4.85 higher at $67.72 and June lean hogs closed $2.80 higher at $65.50.
Cash hogs closed lower with strong negotiated purchases. Packers are off to a stronger start this week as plants begin to resume operations. The industry is hopeful that will eventually help to alleviate some of the pressure from the build-up of animals. But, that likely will take some time. Supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts remain ample and slaughter capacity is still running at a very limited pace. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.93 lower with a base range of $35 to $43 for a weighted average of $36.84; the Iowa/Minnesota had no comparison but a weighted average of $37.55; the Western Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $37.53; the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $36.55.
Butcher hog prices in Dorchester, Wisconsin are $6 lower at $24. Garnavillo, Iowa remains closed. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 lower with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $10 to $23. Barrow and gilts prices were steady at $10 to $15 with light demand for heavy offerings. Boars range from $2 to $8.
Pork values closed $1.07 higher at $107.68. Loins, ribs, and bellies are all higher. Butts and hams were lower. Picnics are steady. Estimated hog slaughter is 292,000 head – down 11,000 on the week and down 176,000 on the year. Friday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 273,000 head and Saturday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 130,000 head.