A positive start to the week for hog, cattle futures

Market News

A positive start to the week for hog, cattle futures

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly higher and feeder cattle were higher, following Friday’s On Feed numbers with additional support by the higher boxed beef prices during the session.  December live cattle closed $.12 higher at $110.60 and February live cattle closed $.20 lower at $114.65.  January feeder cattle closed $.17 higher at $140.62 and March feeder cattle closed $.82 higher at $143.12. 

A quiet to start the week for direct cash cattle trade.  Bids and asking prices are slow to surface.  Showlists this week are larger in Texas, Colorado, and Nebraska, while slightly smaller in Kansas.  With the shortened holiday week business is expected to develop earlier than normal.

At last week’s Farmers and Ranchers Livestock auction in Kansas, compared to the previous week’s sale, steers under 450 pounds were $9 lower.  Steers and heifers 500 to 800 pounds were $2 to $9 higher.  Steers and heifers over 800 pounds were steady to $3 higher.  There was a higher undertone noted on heifers under 450 pounds.  Receipts were about steady on the week, but up on the year.  Feeder supply included 61 percent steers and 72 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 652 to 683 pounds brought $147.50 to $154.50 and feeder steers 753 to 794 pounds brought $137 to $145.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 735 to 749 pounds brought $128 to $134 and feeder heifers 800 to 848 pounds brought $124 to $133.50. 

Boxed beef closed sharply higher on good demand for fairly light offerings.  Choice closed $2.29 higher at $210.92 and Select closed $2.99 higher at $197.26.  The Choice/Select spread is $13.66.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 119,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 2,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures were supported by sharply higher wholesale values during the session.  The Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report comes out this Wednesday.  February lean hogs closed $.12 higher at $65.92 and April lean hogs closed $.07 higher at $70. 

Cash hogs closed mixed with a moderate negotiated run.  The industry continues to watch supply and demand.  The availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample, and processors continue to push daily slaughter totals higher.  That does a couple of things for the industry – it keeps supply chains moving and helps reduce the backlog of hogs in the production system (and prevents it from growing), but it also adds more pork to an already saturated market at a time when demand is facing uncertainty.  Any disruption to the demand picture, either globally or domestically, would likely send prices tumbling.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.26 lower with a base range of $45 to $53 for a weighted average of $50.58; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.22 higher with a weighted average of $51.23; the Western Corn Belt is $.24 lower with a weighted average of $50.75.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 to $4 lower with light demand for moderate offerings at $20 to $34.  Barrow and gilt prices were $1 lower with light to moderate demand for moderate offerings at $28 to $34.  Boars ranged from $15 to $20 and $5 to $10. 

Pork values closed higher – up $.87 at $72.34.  Bellies closed sharply higher.  Ribs and loins closed higher.  Picnics were weak, butts and hams closed sharply lower.  Estimated hog slaughter is 487,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and down 9,000 on the year.  Friday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 476,000 head. 

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