Cattle futures pressured by lower boxed beef prices
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were pressured by the lower boxed beef prices during the session. Feeder cattle were under additional pressure from the day’s higher move in corn. December live cattle closed $1.10 lower at $109.60 and February live cattle closed $1.35 lower at $112.57. January feeder cattle closed $2. Lower at $139.80 and March feeders closed $1.65 lower at $139.32.
Another round of light to moderate direct cash cattle trade took place in the major feeding areas on Thursday. Live deals in the South were at $110. That was fully steady with the week’s previous business. Bids in other parts of cattle country are at $172 to $174 dressed. Asking prices are around $112 to $113 live in the South and $175 to $176 dressed in the North.
At the Huss Livestock Market in Nebraska, compared to two weeks ago steers 400 to 600 pounds were steady to $3 higher and steers over 650 pounds were steady to $2 higher. Heifers 400 to 700 pounds were steady to $2 higher. The USDA says demand was good from the buyers in the crowd with internet activity noted. Receipts were up from two weeks ago and down on the year. Feeder supply included 62 percent steers and 71 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 700 to 743 pounds brought $140.75 to $149.50 and feeder steers 817 to 847 pounds brought $145.25 to $151. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 507 to 546 pounds brought $144 to $154 and feeder heifers 555 to 596 pounds brought $138.50 to $149.
Boxed beef closed lower to sharply lower on light demand for moderate to heavy offerings. Choice closed $1.70 lower at $239.19 and Select closed $3.02 lower at $219.93. The Choice/Select spread is $19.26. Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – down 2,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures closed lower pressured by the day’s lower cash trade and ongoing demand concerns. December lean hogs closed $.32 lower at $66.02 and February lean hogs closed $.95 lower at $66.92.
Cash hogs closed lower with a moderate negotiated run. The market is keeping a close eye on supply and demand. The availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample and processors continue to push daily slaughter totals higher. That’s helping to prevent any further backlog of hogs in the production system and keep the supply chains moving, but that does add more pork to an already saturated market at a time with demand strength is uncertain. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.81 lower with a base range of $50 to $57 and a weighted average of $55.88; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.58 lower with a weighted average of $55.94; the Western Corn Belt closed $.77 lower with a weighted average of $56; the Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $34. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were weak with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $27 to $40. Barrow and gilt prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $35 to $41. Boars ranged from $15 to $20 and $5 to $10.
Pork values closed sharply lower – down $3.41 at $76.45. Hams, bellies, and butts were all sharply lower. Ribs, picnics, and loins were sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 492,000 head – down 5,000 on the year. Wednesday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 490,000 head.