Cattle futures supported by broader markets
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle futures ended the day higher, supported by broader markets. July live cattle closed $1.72 higher at $98.72 and August live cattle closed $1.02 higher at $98.85. May feeder cattle closed $1.87 higher at $126.60 and August feeder cattle closed $1.47 higher at $132.55.
Direct cash cattle trade activity is off to a quiet start. Showlists this week appear to be somewhat higher in Kansas, higher in Texas and in Nebraska/Colorado. Some early asking prices have started to surface at $200 dressed and $120 plus, live. No bids have yet to surface.
At midsession at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week feeder steers are steady to $2 higher. Feeder heifers are $1 to $4 higher. Steer calves are mostly steady and heifer calves are $1 to $4 higher. The USDA says demand was moderate to good for all classes and quality was average to attractive. Receipts are down on the week and up on the year. Feeder supply included 57 percent steers and 71 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 510 to 548 pounds are at $153 to $164 and feeder steers 754 to 795 pounds are at $120 to $136. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 552 to 598 pounds range from $126 to $135.50 and feeder heifers 702 to 742 pounds ranged from $109 to $124.25.
Boxed beef values continue their slide as both Choice and Select closed sharply lower. Choice closed $19.37 lower at $414.95 and Select is $24.19 lower at $394.87. The Choice/Select spread closed $20.08. Estimated cattle slaughter is 94,000 head – up 8,000 on the week and down 26,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day mixed, mostly higher on spread adjustments. June lean hogs closed $.22 lower at $57.65 and July lean hogs closed $.10 lower at $57.65.
Cash hogs ended the day steady with moderate negotiated purchases. Daily slaughter capacity continues to increase and that’s helping to relieve some of the pressure in the hog market, but there’s still a long way to go before the industry can work its way through the backlog. Right now, it’s a balancing act as processors try to juggle the heavy supply of market-ready barrows and gilts with the available shackle space. The industry remains optimistic domestic demand will bounce back as the nation starts to reopen and there’s still the opportunity for US pork to help meet the world’s pork and protein needs as global protein supplies are still short as a result of African swine fever. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.16 lower with a base range of $35 to $39 for a weighted average of $36.90; the Western Corn Belt closed $.22 lower for a weighted average of $36.62; the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $37.08. The Iowa/Minnesota was not reported due to confidentiality but had a five-day rolling average of $36.65.
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 with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $16 to $20. Boars brought $1 to $5.
Pork values closed lower – down $2.66 at $107.46. Picnics, hams, and bellies were sharply lower. Loins, butts, and ribs were all higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 379,000 head – up 18,000 on the week, but down 84,000 on the year. Saturday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 245,000 head.