Hog, cattle futures pressured to start the week
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, both live and feeder cattle futures ended the day lower on follow-through selling and concerns about the lackluster summer demand. August live cattle closed $.27 lower at $95.12 and October live cattle closed $.27 lower at $98.57. August feeder cattle closed $.80 lower at $131.75 and September feeder cattle closed $.80 lower at $133.07.
There was a very light direct cash cattle trade to start the week. Dressed deals in Nebraska were reported at $152 to $155 dressed, but it’s still too early for that to set the trend for the week. Bids and asking prices in the rest of cattle have yet to surface. Showlists this week appear to be smaller in the South, but larger in Nebraska/Colorado. If business follows recent weeks, there could be a light to moderate trade develop just about every day this week.
At midsession at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week feeder steers are currently mixed. Steers under 800 pounds are $1 to $3 lower and steers over 800 pounds are steady to $3 higher. Feeder heifers are $1 to $3 lower. Steer calves are $1 to $4 lower and heifer calves are steady to $1 lower. The USDA says demand for all classes has been continually improving since the start. Quality is mostly average. Receipts are down on the week, but up on the year. Feeder supply included 62 percent steers and 75 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 803 to 849 pounds brought $123.50 to $129 and feeder steers 951 to 986 pounds brought $113.75 to $117.25. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 702 to 728 pounds brought $112 to $120.75 and feeder heifers 809 to 827 pounds brought $109 to $112.25.
Boxed beef closed firm on moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings. Choice closed $.34 higher at $214.06 and Select closed $.39 higher at $204.30. The Choice/Select spread is $9.76. Estimated cattle slaughter is 119,000 head – even on the week and down 2,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day lower on follow-through selling, concerns about increasing trade tension with China, and the news that China has started reject products from plants in the US and in Germany where an uptick in coronavirus cases have been reported. July lean hogs closed $1.62 lower at $46.82 and August lean hogs closed $1.70 lower at $51.10.
Cash hogs closed steady to weak with solid negotiated numbers. There is increasing concern about the long-term supply and demand pictures. Packers continue to push slaughter capacity higher, which is helping to keep the supply chain moving. That’s critical right now as supplies of market-ready hogs are more than ample. But, it’s also adding more pork to a market that has some concerns about long-term demand support. That’s not helping to provide price support. The industry is watching China has it has halted some imports of pork products (from Germany) and poultry products from a US poultry processor because of the rise in coronavirus cases among workers. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.11 lower with a base range of $24 to $20 for an average of $28.36; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.38 lower for a weighted average of $27.67; the Western Corn Belt closed $.50 lower for a weighted average of $27.56; the Eastern Corn Belt closed $.19 lower for a weighted average of $28.89.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $20. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were weak with moderate demand for light offerings at $7 to $18. Barrow and gilt prices were steady at $10 to $18 with light demand for moderate offerings. Boars ranged from $2 to $5.
Pork values closed steady – up $.20 at $64.84. Ribs, butts, picnics, and hams were all higher. Bellies were firm. Loins closed lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 458,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and up 9,000 on the year. And it should be noted this is the first time since the processing disruptions