Cattle futures waiting for direct business to develop
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mixed, mostly higher, and feeder cattle closed mostly higher waiting for direct business to develop. December live cattle closed $.50 lower at $108.60 and February live cattle closed $.22 lower at $112.87. January feeder cattle closed $.07 higher at $140.10 and March feeder cattle closed $.30 higher at $140.90.
Another quiet day for direct cash cattle trade. Bids remain elusive. Asking prices surfaced around $110 plus live in the South, but the North hasn’t been fully established. The bulk of the week’s business will likely develop in the last half of the week.
At the Callaway Livestock Center in Missouri, compared to last week, steer calves 400 to 500-pounds were steady to firm, 550 to 700 pounds were steady, 700 to 800-pound steers were steady to $3 higher, and steers over 800 pounds were steady. Feeder heifers 450 to 600-pounds were $3 to $5 higher and 600 to 650-pounds heifers were steady. The USDA says demand was moderate to good on a moderate to heavy supply. Receipts were down on the week and up on the year. Feeder supply included 66 percent steers and 62 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 655 to 680 pounds brought $148 to $156 and feeder steers 812 to 844 pounds brought $128.75 to $130.75. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 550 to 592 pounds brought $139.50 to $151 and feeder heifers 673 pounds brought $132.35.
Boxed beef cutout values closed steady to weak on light to moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings. Choice closed $.87 lower at $208.82 and Select closed $.10 lower at $192.20. The Choice/Select spread is $16.62. Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – that’s up 5,000 on the week and down 3,000 on the week.
Lean hog futures closed higher on follow-thru buying and optimism that demand for US pork will continue to hold. February lean hogs closed $.77 higher at $66.45 and April lean hogs closed $.75 higher at $69.57.
Cash hogs closed lower with a moderate negotiated run. The cash hog market continues to monitor supply and demand. There is an ample supply of market-ready barrows and gilts, and daily slaughter totals continue to push higher, which is typical for this time of year. Processors have been aggressive in keeping their supply chains moving. That helps prevent more hogs from backing up in the production system, but it also adds more pork to an already saturated market. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.64 lower with a base range of $47 to $54 with a weighted average of $53.01 and the Western Corn Belt closed $1.78 lower with a weighted average of $53.54. The Iowa/Minnesota and the Eastern Corn Belt were 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 steady with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $24 to $35. Barrow and gilt prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $31 to $46. Boars ranged from $15 to $20 and $5 to $10.
Pork values closed sharply lower – down $2.89 at $74.14. Hams dropped nearly $15. Picnics were also lower. Ribs, bellies, butts, and loins were all higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 497,000 head – that’s up 1,000 on the week and the year. Monday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 489,000 head.