Cattle futures higher, support by wholesale values
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle closed higher with support from the higher wholesale values and optimism ahead of this week’s widespread cash business. August live cattle closed $1.05 higher at $104.65 and October live cattle closed $1.15 higher at $108.30. August feeder cattle closed $.92 higher at $144.50.
A light direct cash cattle trade took place on Tuesday. Live deals in Kansas were $103, that’s $3 higher than last week’s weighted averages. Dressed deals in Nebraska were at $165 and in Iowa at $165 to $167, also above last week’s weighted averages. Asking prices are expected to be restated at $105 live in the South and $168 plus dressed in the North. Look for trade activity to improve as the week progresses.
At the Callaway Livestock Center in Missouri, compared to last week steer calves 450 to 500 pounds were steady to $5 lower on a light test. Steers 500 to 750 pounds were mostly steady and steers over 750 pounds were not well tested. Feeder heifers 400 to 700 pounds were steady to firm with a potload of 620-pound heifers $3 higher than last week. The USDA says demand was moderate to good with a moderate supply Receipts were down on the week. Feeder supply included 52 percent steers and 48 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 555 to 594 pounds brought $162.75 to $168.50 and feeder steers 604 to 629 pounds brought $155 to $163.75. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 579 pounds brought $155.25 and feeder heifers 609 pounds brought $153.85.
Boxed beef closed higher with good demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $.88 higher at $208.08 and Select closed $1.09 higher at $195.02. The Choice/Select spread is $13.06. Estimated cattle slaughter is 117,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and even on the year. Monday’s cattle slaughter has been revised to 113,00 head.
Lean hog futures ended the day lower on profit-taking and concerns about the overall demand uncertainty. August lean hogs closed $.05 lower at $53.07 and October lean hogs closed $2 lower at $51.82.
Cash hogs closed lower with large negotiated purchases. Supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts are ample and processors continue their aggressive procurement efforts. With rising daily slaughter numbers that’s helping to keep the supply chain moving. But it’s also adding more pork to the market. The economy remains slow to recover from COVID-19, and demand uncertainty is increasing and that adds pressure to prices. Global demand also faces uncertainties. If prices are going to push higher, both aspects of demand will need strength behind them. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.01 lower with a base range of $36 to $38.99 for a weighted average of $37.42; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.15 lower for a weighted average price of $36.97; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.07 lower for a weighted average of $36.97. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $24. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $11 to $23. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand or moderate to heavy offerings at $19 to $24. Boars ranged from $1 to $3.
Pork values closed firm – up $.32 at $70.39. Butts and loins were higher. Bellies, ribs, picnics, and hams were weak to lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 458,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and down 17,000 on the year. Monday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 457,000 head.