Lower wholesale values continue to pressure cattle futures
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were lower pressured by the lower wholesale values during the session. Feeder cattle were also lower on the same factors with additional pressure from the day’s higher move in corn. August live cattle closed $.85 lower at $99.15 and October live cattle closed $.67 lower at $103.50. August feeder cattle closed $.87 lower at $134.05 and September feeder cattle closed $.65 lower at $135.67.
A light to moderate direct cash cattle trade took place in the South on Wednesday. Live deals are at $95, that’s steady with Tuesday’s business. Northern dressed business ranged from $155 to $160, steady to $2 higher than Tuesday’s business, and $1 to $6 higher than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.
At the Hub City Livestock Auction in South Dakota, compared to two weeks ago the best test was on steers 850 to 950 pounds and they were $2 to $3 higher. The best test on heifers 750 to 850 pounds were $1 to $2 higher. The USDA says demand was good for the day’s offering of packages, loads, and several strings of steers and heifers. Flesh condition varied from light to heavy. Quality was mostly average to attractive with some plainer cattle in the packages. The market was active. Receipts were up from two weeks ago and on the year. Feeder supply included 60 percent steers and 95 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 750 to 785 pounds brought $141.25 to $147 and feeder steers 904 to 923 pounds brought $127.50 to $132.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 853 to 896 pounds brought $116.50 to $120 and feeder heifers 907 to 946 pounds brought $112.75 to $114.25.
Boxed beef closed lower with light demand for heavy offerings. Choice closed $1.47 lower at $203.83 and Select closed $1.32 lower at $195.32. The Choice/Select spread is $8.31. Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 2,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day mixed on spread trade. July lean hogs closed $.47 lower at $44.05 and August lean hogs closed $.92 lower at $47.95.
Cash hogs ended the day steady to weak with solid negotiated purchases. Supplies of market-ready hogs are more than ample and daily slaughter totals continue to push higher. That’s helping to keep the supply chain moving, but it’s also adding more pork to the market. At the same time, there is still uncertainty surrounding demand both globally and domestically. All eyes will be on Thursday’s Export Sales Report from the USDA to see if it renders any supportive news. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.23 lower with a base range of $24 to $31 for a weighted average of $29.14; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.51 lower for a weighted average of $29.12; the Western Corn Belt closed $.49 lower for a weighted average of $29.11. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $29. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate to good demand for heavy offerings at $9 to $20. Barrow and gilt prices were steady with moderate to good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $12 to $20. Boars ranged from $2 to $5.
Pork values closed sharply higher – up $4.56 at $67.16. Hams closed more than $16 higher and bellies more than $11 higher. Ribs were steady. Picnics and butts were sharply lower. Loins were weak. Estimated hog slaughter is 467,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and down 15,000 on the year.