Cattle, hog futures lower heading into Friday

Market News

Cattle, hog futures lower heading into Friday

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed sharply lower on fund and technical selling and feeders were mostly lower, watching corn and the live pit.  June live cattle closed $3. Lower at $115.60 and August live cattle closed $2.92 lower at $119.40.  May feeder cattle closed $.70 higher at $137.45 and August feeder cattle closed $.02 lower at $150.50. 

There was another round of light direct cash cattle trade that took place on Thursday.  Deals in Kansas were at $119 live and in Nebraska at $120 live.  The rest of cattle country was quiet.  Asking prices are at $120 plus live in the South and $192 plus dressed in the North.  Deals this week have ranged from $119 to $120 live and mostly $191 dressed in the North.  Those are about steady to slightly higher than last week’s weighted averages.  Trade volumes so far this week are still light in some areas, so additional business is expected to still develop.

At the Bloomfield Livestock Market in Iowa, compared to two weeks ago steer calves under 650 pounds were mostly $1 to $6 lower and steers over 650 pounds were $3 to $7 higher.  Heifer calves under 650 pounds were $8 to sharply higher and heifers over 650 pounds were $6 higher.  The USDA says demand was good for the moderate offering which included several load lots.  Receipts were up from two weeks ago and down slightly on the year. Feeder supply included 47 percent steers and 54 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers556 to 594 pounds brought $150 to $166 and feeder steers 671 to 693 pounds brought $144 to $159.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 609 to 644 pounds brought $133.75 to $144.35 and feeder heifers 700 to 714 pounds brought $139.85 to $141.85. 

Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for moderate offerings.  Choice is $1.70 higher at $316.78 and Select closed $1.25 lower at $295.91.  The Choice/Select spread is $20.87. Estimated cattle slaughter is 118,000 head – up 3,000 on the week and up 24,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day lower on fund selling, pressure from the cash trade, and relatively disappointing weekly export sales numbers. May lean hogs closed $.32 lower at $111.47 and June lean hogs closed $1.92 lower at $110.10.

Cash hogs closed lower with very light negotiated purchases.  Packers took a bit of a breather on Thursday with light numbers and lower prices.  Overall, the strong demand recently has been very supportive to prices, and the industry expects that to continue for at least some time. But, should a disruption occur, it would likely send prices tumbling. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.28 lower with a base range of $104.44 and $123 and weighted average of $113.45; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $2.84 lower with a weighted average of $117.34; the Western corn Belt closed $2.73 lower with a weighted average of $117.06.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash market are $3 higher at $80. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady to $2 lower with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $48 to $60.  Barrow and gilt prices were firm with good demand for heavy offerings at $76 to $80.  Boars ranged from $40 to $45 and $15 to $20. 

Pork values closed higher – up $2.08 at $116.19.  Bellies closed nearly $11 higher.  Butts and picnics were also sharply higher.  Ribs were firm.  Ham and loins were lower.   Estimated hog slaughter is 479,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and up 97,000 on the year. Wednesday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 473,000 head.