Cattle futures higher ahead of on feed numbers

Market News

Cattle futures higher ahead of on feed numbers

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day higher, ahead of Friday’s on feed report with support from the recent uptick in boxed beef prices.  December live cattle closed $.57 higher at $109.35 and February live cattle closed $.67 higher at $114.45.  January feeder cattle closed $.12 higher at $140.97 and March feeder cattle closed $.62 higher at $142.60. 

A light to moderate direct cash cattle trade took place on Thursday.  Live deals in the South were at $108, nearly steady with last week’s weighted averages.  There were a few early deals that were reported in Nebraska at $105, that’s fully steady with Wednesday’s business, but $1 lower than last week’s weighted average basis, however, additional lives deals have been at $108.  Asking prices were at $109 to $110 live in the South and $169 plus dressed in the North. 

At the Green City Livestock Auction in Missouri, compared to two weeks ago feeder steers and heifers were $1 to $6 higher.  The USDA says demand was moderate to good and supply was moderate.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 53 percent steers and 58 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 507 to 543 pounds brought $160 to $181 and feeder steers 601 to 628 pounds brought $153.50 to $164.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 507 to 546 pounds brought $145.75 to $152.50 and feeder heifers 664 to 668 pounds brought $141.25 to $144.75. 

Boxed beef closed higher on good demand for light to moderate offerings.  Choice is $2.29 higher at $209.51 and Select is $1.61 higher at $193.70.  The Choice/Select spread is $15.81. Estimated cattle slaughter is 116,000 head – down 4,000 on the week and down 6,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed mostly higher on spread adjustment following the positive weekly export sales report and stronger pork values during the session.  February lean hogs closed $.47 lower at $65.50 and April lean hogs closed $.02 lower at $69.30. 

Cash hogs closed lower to sharply lower with a moderate negotiated run. The availability of market-ready barrows and gilts is more than ample, and processors continue to push daily slaughter totals higher.  While that helps keep supply chains moving and prevents more hogs from backing up in the production system, it also adds more pork to an already saturated market at a time when demand faces some uncertainty.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.94 lower with a base range of $46 to $54 and a weighted average of $52.07; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $2.14 lower with a weighted average of $51.68; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.70 lower with a weighted average of $52.12.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $2 lower at $37 and $38.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were weak with light demand for light to moderate offerings at $24 to $35.  Barrow and gilt prices were weak with light to moderate demand for moderate offerings at $31 to $36.  Boars ranged from $15 to $20 and $5 to $10. 

Pork values closed lower – down $1.64 at $73.22.  Hams dropped $15 on Thursday.  The rest of the primals were higher to sharply higher.   Estimated hog slaughter is 475,000 head – down 18,000 on the week and down 21,000 on the year. 

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