Cattle futures waiting for cash business to develop
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed higher, and feeders were mixed, watching corn and cash business develop. April live cattle closed $.45 higher at $119.42 and June live cattle closed $.25 higher at $117.75. March feeder cattle closed $.67 lower at $136.52 and April feeder cattle closed $.65 lower at $140.47.
Direct cash cattle trade has been quiet, and bids were non-existent. Asking prices did started to surface around $116 live in the South, while the North remained quiet. The Texas Cash Pool reported sales of 775 head on Tuesday at $113.11, slightly below last week’s Cash Pool Price. Business could be holding out until Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange wraps up.
At the Tri-State Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared to last week, steers were steady to $3 lower and heifers were around $7 higher. The USDA says demand was good all day for the offering. Receipts were down on the week, but up on the year. Feeder supply included 52 percent steers and 80 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 708 to 748 pounds brought $140.25 to $144.50 and feeder steers 763 to 782 pounds brought $139 to $142.75. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 652 to 687 pounds brought $130 to $140 and feeder heifers 881 pounds brought $124.50.
Boxed beef closed lower to sharply lower on light demand for moderate offerings. Choice is $4.35 lower at $234.68 and Select closed $1.47 lower at $226.17. The Choice/Select spread is $8.51. Estimated cattle slaughter is 123,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and down 1,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures closed mostly lower on spread adjustments, largely ignoring the sharply higher pork values during the session. April lean hogs closed $2.37 lower at $85.35 and May lean hogs closed $1.65 lower at $87.92.
Cash hogs closed sharply higher with a solid negotiated run on Tuesday. Packers continue to bid up to move their desired numbers. The industry remains optimistic demand for US pork will continue to see strength on both the global market and domestically. The demand strength is been very supportive to prices. However, heavy supplies are concerning. The availability of market-ready barrows and gilts has been more than ample and daily slaughter totals have been very high. Should a disruption to demand occur, it would likely send prices tumbling. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.28 higher with a base range of $76.67 to $85.50 and a weighted average of $78.42; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $2.22 higher with a weighted average of $83.63; the Western Corn Belt closed $2.33 higher at $83.57.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $52. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 to $3 higher with very good demand for heavy offerings at $60 to $72. Barrow and gilt prices were $1 to $2 higher with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $51 to $57. Boars ranged from $25 to $30.
Pork values closed higher – up $2.50 at $94.87. Hams, bellies, and loins were all sharply higher. Ribs were higher. Butts and picnics were weak to sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 497,000 head -even on the week and the year. Monday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 493,000 head.