Live cattle mixed ahead of cash trade

Market News

Live cattle mixed ahead of cash trade

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day mixed ahead of widespread direct cash trade and Friday’s On Feed numbers and feeder cattle closed mostly higher, supported by the day’s lower move in corn.  February live cattle closed $.55 higher at $113.32 and April live cattle closed $1.15 higher at $119.35.  January feeder cattle closed $.17 lower at $134.40 and March feeder cattle closed $.97 higher at $136.80. 

A pretty quiet day for direct cash cattle trade activity.  There was some scattered live trade reported in the South at $110.50, but that’s not near enough to establish a trend.  Asking prices were around $112 to $113 live in the South, while the North remained quiet.  Showlists this week are mixed, higher in Texas, but lower in Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado.  Significant trade volume will likely be delayed until the latter half of the week. 

At the close, at the Joplin Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to last week, steers were steady to $3 lower.  Heifers also traded steady to $3 lower.  The USDA said supply was moderate with good demand.  Receipts were down slightly on the week and up on the year.  Feeder supply included 54 percent steers and 52 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 500 to 545 pounds brought $155 to $167 and feeder steers 600 to 645 pounds brought $140 to $151.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 550 to 595 pounds brought $125 to $136 and feeder heifers 605 to 647 pounds brought $124 to $131.25. 

Boxed beef closed sharply higher and firm on moderate to good demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $2.45 higher at $217.49 and Select closed $.60 higher at $206.44.  The Choice/Select spread is $11.05.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 117,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and down 7,000 on the year.  Monday’s cattle slaughter has been revised to 112,000 head. 

Lean hog futures closed lower, pressured by the weak cash trade and long-term demand concerns.  February lean hogs closed $1.45 lower at $66.47 and April lean hogs closed $1.22 lower at $71.42. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a solid negotiated run.  Supply and demand continue to be the focus of the market.  The availability of market-ready barrows and gilts is more than ample and daily slaughter totals remain close to daily records.  That’s keeping the supply chain moving and preventing hogs from backing up in the production system, but it’s also adding more pork to the market.  This comes at a time when demand globally and domestically face uncertainty.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.04 lower with a base range of $46 to $55.86 and a weighted average of $54.26.  The Iowa/Minnesota had no comparison but a weighted average of $54.63; the Western Corn Belt had no comparison but weighted average of $54.77; and the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $54.18.    

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $40. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 to $3 higher with good demand for heavy offerings at $32 to $44.  Barrow and gilt prices were $1 lower with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $30 to $38.  Boars ranged from $15 to $20 and $5 to $10. 

Pork values closed lower – down $1.10 at $77.42.  Butts and ribs closed sharply higher.  Picnics and ribs were higher.  Hams closed sharply lower and bellies were lower. 

Estimated hog slaughter is 498,000 head – even on the week and up 2,000 on the year.