Awkward week for cash trade, futures higher
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were modestly higher, watching the rest of the week’s direct cash cattle business develop. Weekly export sales were up on the week and from the four-week average. October was $.42 higher at $105.52 and December was up $.47 at $109.90.
Feeder cattle futures were supported by technical buying. September was up $.82 at $140 and October was $.97 higher at $140.57.
There was light trade Friday in the South at $102, a dollar higher than most of the week. The North was mostly quiet with just a few scattered bids. Asking prices came in around $104 to $105 in the South, and $163 to $164 in the North.
In Missouri, compared to the prior week, feeder steers and heifers were uneven on a limited offerings. Total receipts were less than half of the previous reported mark and below half of last year. Heifers were $2.00 lower to $2.00 higher, but some barns did note better heifer markets this week. Medium and large 1 to 2 steers weighing 600 to 700 pounds brought $127.00 to $156.50. Medium and large 1 to 2 heifers weighing 500 to 600 pounds brought $110.00 to $146.75. Feeder steers were very quiet this week. Even with increased rainfall, drought conditions continued across parts of the state and some cattle went off grass because of it. Supply included 49 percent steers, 43 percent heifers and five percent bulls.
Boxed beef closed lower on good demand. Choice is $.94 lower at $219.89 and Select is $.22 lower at $207.10. The Choice/Select spread is $12.79
Estimated cattle slaughter is 119,000 head – up 4,000 on the week and 9,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 95,000 head – up 51,000 on the week and 35,000 on the year because of the shortened market week.
At the Missouri Hay Market, hay business in the state has been limited on light supplies with heavy demand. Weather this week seemingly took an early turn towards wet, cool fall conditions but some areas in the state are still on the drought monitor. Pasture conditions in the state are in decent condition for the most part but continued moisture would be welcome. Alfalfa Supreme medium squares brought $180 to $225. Small squares brought $7 to $9 per bale. Alfalfa Premium medium squares brought $160 to $180. Alfalfa good large rounds brought $120 to $160, small squares brought $5 to $7 per bale. Alfalfa fair large rounds brought $100 to $125. Alfafla/Grass Mix, good/premium small squares brought $6 to $8 per bale. Mixed grass, good/premium large rounds brought $80 to $120.
Lean hogs were sharply higher on follow through buying as the trade continues to monitor the ASF situation in Germany and possible increase in export demand, depending on the actions of importers. The weekly numbers were down from the prior week and the four-week average, mainly to Mexico and China. Normal trading limits resume Monday. October was up $2.20 at $66.57 and December was $3.15 higher at $66.
Cash hogs closed sharply higher with strong negotiated numbers. The industry continues to monitor the supply and demand picture on a shortened market week. The availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample and daily slaughter totals pushing to clear the backlog of hogs. That’s adding more pork to the market. Even on a slow week, processors have been able to keep the supply chain moving. Demand uncertainty remains, limiting the market’s ability to push prices higher.
Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were $1.72 higher with a base range of $44.00 to $62.00 for a weighted average of $50.80. The Iowa/Minnesota was $1.20 lower at $53.37. The Western Cornbelt ended $1.25 lower for a weighted average of $53.14. The Eastern Cornbelt had no comparison to last week, closing at $55.89.
For the week, early weaned pigs were steady to firm at $2 higher and all feeder pigs were $6 per head higher. The USDA says demand was good to moderate for moderate offerings. Receipts included 38 percent formulated prices. Total composite formula range for early-weaned pigs was $22.86 to $40.50 for an average of $33.54 and the total composite cash range was $10.00 to $30.00 for a weighted average of $22.29. Total composite weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $26.76 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $33.06.
Pork values closed moderately higher – up $.39 at $81.25. Hams dropped more than $2. Bellies gained more than a dollar. Picnics and ribs were moderately lower. Buts and loins were strong.
Estimated hog slaughter is 480,000 head – up 29,000 on the week and even on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 415,000 head – up 296,000 on the week and up 218,000 on the year.