Cattle futures slide again into the weekend
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle futures ended the day lower on follow-through selling and pressure from the lower wholesale values during the session. Feeder cattle were lower on the same factors. June live cattle closed $.75 lower at $96.07 and August live cattle closed $1.12 lower at $95.32. August feeder cattle closed $1.07 lower at $131.10 and September feeder cattle closed $.77 lower at $132.47.
Direct cash cattle trade ended the week quietly and business was wrapped up for the week by the end of day Thursday. This was another week of steady light to moderate business each day, all with wide and inconsistent ranges. Southern live trade had a full range of $98 to $108 and Northern dressed deals had a full range of $160 to $172. All business was well below the previous week’s weighted averages.
Compared to the previous week in Missouri, steers and heifers were uneven with calves steady to $5 lower. Yearlings and some weaned, pre-vac calves were steady to $3 higher. The USDA says demand and supply were moderate. Receipts were down on the week but up on the year. Feeder supply included 56 percent steers and 42 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 500 to 548 pounds brought $125 to $175.25 and feeder steers 600 to 649 pounds brought $130 to $159.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 500 to 549 pounds brought $122 to $145 and feeder steers 550 to 598 pounds brought $122 to $145.
In Missouri, farmers were able to get several acres of hay baled before heavy rains moved into the state. Hay supplies are increasing as there was significant carry-over from last year and yields have been goods. Prices are mostly steady, supply is moderate, and demand is light. Supreme quality alfalfa brought $180 to $200, small squares brought $7 to $9 per bale. Premium quality alfalfa brought $160 to $180. Good quality alfalfa brought $120 to $160 and small squares brought $5 to $7 per bale. Fairy quality alfalfa brought $100 to $125. Good quality mixed grass hay brought $80 to $120, small squares brought $6 to $8 per bale. Fair to good quality mixed grass hay brought $60 to $90 and small squares brought $3 to $6 per bale. Good quality bromegrass brought $80 to $120.
Boxed beef closed weak to sharply lower on moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings. Choice closed $4.92 lower at $230.64 and Select closed $.61 lower at $219.27. The Choice/Select spread is $11.37. Estimated cattle slaughter is 115,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and down 4,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 76,000 head, up 13,000 on the week and up 12,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day mixed, mostly higher on spread adjustments with support from the higher wholesale values during the session. June lean hogs closed $.07 higher at $48.05 and July lean hogs closed $.45 lower at $61.57.
Cash hogs closed steady to higher with moderate negotiated purchases. Supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts are still heavy, but daily slaughter totals continue to push higher helping to keep the supply chain moving. The industry remains hopeful demand for US pork will continue to rise both domestically and globally, providing some price support. While slaughter capacity has been on the rise, processors are still working their way through the backlog of hogs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.21 higher with a base range of $27 to $32.50 for a weighted average of $30.36; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.91 higher for a weighted average of $30.94; the Western Corn Belt closed $.49 higher for a weighted average of $30.52. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
The latest Feeder Pig Report from the USDA shows early-weaned pigs are $2 per head lower and all feeder pigs are $3 per head lower. Demand was light for moderate to heavy offerings. Receipts included 52 percent formulated prices. The total composite formula range for early-weaned pigs is $10.05 to $40.05 for an average of $26.91. The total composite cash range was $1 to $8.50 for an average of $5.11. The total composite weighted average for all early-weaned pigs is $17.46 and the average for all feeder pigs is $14.65.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash market are steady at $20. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for light to moderate offerings at $7 to $18. Barrow and gilt prices were steady at $10 to $18 for light demand for heavy offerings. Boars ranged from $1 to $5.
Pork values closed firm – up $.53 at $69.99. Butts, hams, and loins closed higher to sharply higher. Bellies are steady. Ribs and picnics closed lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 438,000 head – down 5,000 on the week and down 27,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 230,000 head – down 78,000 on the week, but up 160,000 on the year.