Weaker cash trade pressures cattle futures
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were lower, and feeder cattle were mostly lower, pressured this week’s lower cash trade. August live cattle closed $1.45 lower at $104.05 and October live cattle closed $1.77 lower at $107. August feeder cattle closed $.22 higher at $142.47 and September feeder cattle closed $1.30 lower at $141.77.
A light to moderate direct cash cattle trade took place across cattle country on Wednesday. Deals this week are running slightly below last week’s weighted averages. Live deals in the South were at $105 and dressed business in the North was at $167. Both are fully steady with this week’s earlier trade. There was a light trade that took place in the South on Tuesday with deals ranging from $104 to $107, mostly $105 and there was some dressed business at $167 reported in Iowa.
At the Ozarks Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to last week feeder steers were $3 to $6 lower while feeder heifers were steady to $2 higher. The USDA says demand was moderate on steers and good on heifers. The supply was moderate with most of the offering in small packages. Receipts were down on the week, but up on the year. Feeder supply included 52 percent steers and 41 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 600 to 646 pounds brought $143.50 to $152 and feeder steers 933 pounds brought $126.25. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 500 to 549 pounds brought $134 to $145 and feeder heifers 552 to 599 pounds brought $132.50 to $142.
Boxed beef closed higher on good demand for moderate offerings. Choice is $1.77 higher at $231.45 and Select is $1.85 higher at $214.11. The Choice/Select spread is $17.34. Estimated cattle slaughter is 118,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 1,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures closed lower on profit-taking, the sharply lower wholesale values, and the weakness in the cash trade during the session. October lean hogs closed $.40 lower at $55.55 and December lean hogs closed $.35 lower at $56.32.
Cash hogs closed firm to higher with solid negotiated purchases. Packers were aggressive Wednesday afternoon in their procurement efforts and bid up to move their desired numbers. However, the grey cloud lingering over the market is the supply situation. The availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample, and the industry continues to try and work through (albeit slowly) the backlog of hogs in the pork production system. All of this adds more pork to the market. If prices are going to consistently move higher, stronger demand, both domestically and globally are needed. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.38 higher with a base range of $36.50 to $48 for a weighted average of $43.66; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.34 higher with a weighted average of $42.62; the Western Corn Belt closed $.31 higher with a weighted average of $42.59; the Eastern Corn Belt closed $2.22 higher for a weighted average of $44.51.
At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with good demand for heavy offerings at $11 to $23. Barrow and gilt prices were $1 higher with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $22 to $26. Boars ranged from $1 to $3.
Pork values closed sharply lower – down $2.91 at $71.90. Ribs and loins closed sharply lower. Picnics and hams were lower. Bellies were weak and butts close higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 482,000 head – up 6,000 on the week and down 7,000 on the year.