Cattle futures higher on cash, wholesale support
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, both live and feeder cattle futures ended the day higher supported by the higher move in boxed beef and the higher start to this week’s cash business. June live cattle closed $4.50 higher at $97.17 and August live cattle closed $4.50 higher at $101.70. May feeder cattle closed $3.65 higher at $127.30 and August feeder cattle closed $3.07 higher at $135.75.
A light direct cash cattle trade is underway. A few deals have been reported in Iowa at $185 dressed, which is $19 higher than last week’s weighted averages and $117 live. Live deals in Kansas and Nebraska are at $110, $2 higher than last week’s weighted averages. While some business is starting to develop, it’s quite possible more substantial trade volumes could be delayed until the latter half of the week. Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange has an offering of 4,601 head.
At the Tri-State Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared to last week steers 850 to 900 pounds were $8 higher. The rest of the weights were not well compared. The USDA says demand was good with an active market both online and in the crowd. Receipts were up from the previous week and on the year. Feeder supply included 58 percent steers and 86 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 803 to 841 pounds brought $121.35 to $131 and feeder steers 976 to 979 pounds brought $113.25 to $116. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 758 to 799 pounds brought $116 to $116.50 and feeder heifers 906 pounds brought $113.35.
At the Manchester Livestock Auction in Iowa, compared to 6 weeks ago beef steers and heifers were $3.50 lower. High yielding prime and choice steers brought $103 to $110 and high yielding prime and choice heifers brought $103 to $108.50.
Boxed beef closed mixed – sharply higher on choice and lower on select – on moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings. Choice closed $6.81 higher at $475.39 and Select closed $2 lower at $450.97. The Choice/Select spread is $24.41. Estimated cattle slaughter is 89,000 head – up 9,000 on the week, but still down 33,000 on the year. This is the largest
Lean hog futures ended the day higher on support from the higher cash trade and the recent sharply higher wholesale values. May lean hogs closed $1.70 higher at $68.02 and June lean hogs closed $1.05 higher at $61.32.
Cash hogs closed firm with moderate negotiated numbers. All the nation’s processing facilities have reopened, although many are still running at a reduced chain speed. While that will help to alleviate some of the pressure on the supply chain, it will take a lot of time to move through the backlog of hogs from the recent slowdowns and shutdowns. Ag economist Steve Meyer with Kerns & Associates estimates there are still more than 2-million hogs backed up in the supply chain. The global protein picture does remain a bright spot. Pork supplies are short, and that creates export opportunities for the US pork sector, and as long as processors remain operational, the US could remain well-positioned to meet the world’s pork and protein needs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.46 higher with a base range of $36 to $39 for a weighted average of $37.31; the Iowa/Southern Minnesota closed $.27 higher for a weighted average of $36.49; the Western Corn Belt closed $.28 higher for a weighted average of $36.49. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $20. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate to good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $7 to $20. Barrow and gilt prices were steady wight light to moderate demand for heavy offerings at $11 to $16. Boars range from $1 to $5.
Pork closed sharply lower – down $8.84 at $112.82. Bellies dropped more than $61. Hams were also sharply lower. Picnics were steady. Rubs, butts, and loins were all higher to sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 361,000 head – up 63,000 on the week, but still down 94,000 on the year.