A midweek slump for cattle and hog futures
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day lower and feeder cattle were mostly lower watching corn and the direct markets develop. June live cattle closed $.27 lower at $116.45 and August live cattle closed $.77 lower at $119.32. May feeder cattle closed $.12 lower at $136.50 and August feeder cattle closed $1.47 lower at $155.20.
Another round of light direct cash cattle trade was reported on Wednesday. Live deals in the South were at $119 to $120, fully steady with Tuesday business. Dressed deals were at mostly $191, fully steady with the week’s trade. Asking prices were around $121 plus live in the South and $192 dressed in the North. Deals this week have been at $119 to $120 live in the South, steady to $1 higher than last week’s business. Northern dressed deals have been at mostly $191, generally steady with last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. The Fed Cattle Exchange had an offering of 15,237 head with just 1,419 head from Texas sold at $116 to $117.
At the Ozarks Regional Stockyard in Missouri, compared to last week steer calves were $2 to $4 higher while heifer calves were uneven – from $2 lower to $2 higher. Yearling steers and heifers were $2 to $3 higher. The USDA says demand was good on a heavy supply, including several drafts of yearlings. Receipts were up on the week and down slightly on the year. Feeder supply included 56% steers and 51% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 550 to 599 pounds brought $160 to $168 and feeder steers 602 to 631 pounds brought $154 to $168. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 607 to 645 pounds brought $131.50 to $145.
Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $.43 lower at $329.49 and Select closed $.21 lower at $304.05. Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and up 10,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day mostly lower, pressured by weak cash and wholesale business. June lean hogs closed $.02 higher at $115.27 and July lean hogs closed $1.10 lower at $116.40.
Cash hogs closed lower with a fairly light negotiated run. Prices slid again on Wednesday as processors continue to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts. Strong demand for US pork has provided significant price support recently, but that has pulled back some this week. Overall, though, the industry expects strong demand to continue. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.51 lower with a base range of $101.17 to $114 and weighted average of $104.91; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.75 lower with a weighted average of $112.10; the Western Corn Belt closed $.35 lower with a weighted average of $112.10. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash market are $2 lower at $78. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were weak with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $40 to $54. Barrow and gilt prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $73 to $76. Boars ranged from $40 to $45 and $12 to $18.
Pork values closed lower – down $.54 at $123.98. Loins and hams were lower to sharply lower. Picnics, butts, ribs, and bellies were higher to sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 483,000 head – up 6,000 on the week and up 56,000 on the year.