Cattle futures mixed to start the week
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle closed mixed, watching the distribution of the week’s showlists waiting for business to develop. December live cattle closed $.35 higher at $109.10 and February live cattle closed $.15 lower at $113.10. January feeder cattle closed $.30 higher at $140.02 and March feeder cattle closed $.05 higher at $140.60.
Direct cash cattle trade activity was quiet on Monday. Bids and asking prices have been slow to surface. Showlists this week appear to be lower across all major feeding areas. It’s likely significant trade volume will be delayed until the latter half of the week.
At midsession, at the Joplin Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to last week, steers under 650 pounds were steady to $5 higher and over 650 pounds were steady. Heifer calves under 650 pounds were steady to firm and over 650 pounds were steady. The USDA says demand was moderate to good and supply was moderate. Receipts were down on the week, but up on the year. Feeder supply included 56 percent steers and 44 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 605 to 647 pounds brought $142 to $159 and feeder steers 755 to 790 brought $131 to $142. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 560 to 597 pounds brought $128 to $139 and feeder heifers 604 to 644 pounds brought $126 to $134.
Boxed beef continues its slide as prices were sharply lower again with light demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $4.19 lower at $209.69 and Select closed $3.41 lower at $192.30. The Choice/Select spread is $17.39. Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head, up 1,000 on the week and even on the year.
Lean hog futures were supported by commercial buying and optimism about demand. December lean hogs closed $.22 higher at $64.90 and February lean hogs closed $2.45 higher at $65.67.
Cash hogs closed mixed with a solid negotiated run. The market continues to be driven by the supply and demand situation. The availability of market-ready barrows and gilts is more than ample, and processors continue to push daily slaughter totals higher. While that’s keeping supply chains moving and preventing hogs from backing up further in the production system, it’s also adding more pork to an already saturated market. At the same time, demand for US pork is seeing some uncertainty and that’s preventing prices from pushing higher. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.06 higher with a base range of $47 to $56.50 for a weighted average of $53.55; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.03 higher with a weighted average of $55.13; the Western Corn Belt closed $.35 higher with a weighted average of $54.84; the Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $39 and $40. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 to $2 lower with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $24 to $35. Barrow and gilt prices were $1 to $2 lower with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $31 to $36. Boars ranged from $15 to $20 and $5 to $10.
Pork values closed sharply lower – down $2.68 at $77.03. Bellies, loins, and butts are all sharply lower. Ribs closed lower. Butts were weak and picnics closed higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 497,000 head – up 10,000 on the week and up 2,000 on the year. Saturday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 300,000 head.