Cattle futures lower as wholesale values continue to slide

Market News

Cattle futures lower as wholesale values continue to slide

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day lower, pressured by the continued slide in wholesale values.  Feeder cattle were lower on the same factors.  August live cattle closed $.85 lower at $98.80 and October live cattle closed $1.10 lower at $103.10.  August feeder cattle closed $.32 lower at $136.72 and September feeder cattle closed $.60 lower at $137.47. 

A light direct cash cattle trade took place in the South on Tuesday.  Deals in Texas were at $95, fully steady with last week’s weighted averages.  There’s also been some business reported in Kansas at $95 to $96.50.  There hasn’t been much come out of the North, just a regional bid at $157.50 dressed.  Asking prices are at $100 plus live in the South and $162 plus dressed in the North.  Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange has an offering of 1,224 head. 

At the Sioux Falls Regional Cattle Auction in South Dakota, compared to two weeks ago feeder steers and heifers were too lightly tested for a solid price comparison, but a higher undertone was noted.  The USDA says demand was very good for the light summer-time offering of yearlings.  The market was active.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feder supply included 62 percent steers and 88 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 754 to 799 pounds brought $134.50 to $144 and feeder steers 855 to 888 pounds brought $133.50 to $138.25.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 617 to 631 pounds brought $128 to $139 and feeder heifers 769 to 784 pounds brought $128.25 to $131.50. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for moderate offerings.  Choice down $2.34 at $200.92 and Select closed $1.03 lower at $190.85.  The Choice/Select spread is $10.07.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 119,000 head – even on the week and down 3,000 on the year.  Monday’s cattle slaughter has been revised to 115,000 head. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mixed on spread trade and ongoing demand uncertainty.  July lean hogs closed $.12 higher at $46.80 and August lean hogs closed $1.35 lower at $49.92.

Cash hogs closed firm to higher with solid negotiated numbers.  The supply and demand picture remains the biggest concern for the market.  Packers continue to drive their daily slaughter totals higher, which is good news as supplies of market-ready hogs are more than ample.  That’s bringing more pork online.  The US is still well-positioned to meet China’s pork and protein needs, but that uncertainty also means domestic demand will need to remain strong.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.63 higher at with a base range of $29 to $35 for a weighted average of $31.08; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $2.13 higher for a weighted average of $31.27; the Western Corn Belt closed $2.14 higher for a weighted average of $31.27.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $20.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with good demand for heavy offerings at $9 to $20.  Barrow and gilt prices were firm with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $14 to $22.  Boars ranged from $2 to $5. 

Pork values closed lower – down $1.28 at $66.24.  Hams were sharply lower.  Butts, loins, and picnics were also lower.  Ribs closed sharply higher and bellies were higher.    Estimated hog slaughter is 475,000 head – up 6,000 on the week and up 2,000 on the year.  Monday’s hog slaughter was revised to 448,000 head.