Cattle futures lower at midweek

Market News

Cattle futures lower at midweek

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle futures ended the day lower on profit-taking, feeders had additional pressure from the day’s higher move in corn.  August live cattle closed $.50 lower at $121.25 and October live cattle closed $.40 lower at $126.77.  August feeder cattle closed $1.87 lower at $156.95 and September feeder cattle closed $2.40 lower at $159.22. 

A relatively quiet day for direct cash cattle trade activity following the light to moderate business that took place on Tuesday.  There was scattered trade across several areas at $117 to $120 live in the South and $197 to $201 dressed in the North.   Asking prices held around $120 plus live in the South and $202 dressed in the North.  Look for more business to pick up over the balance of the week.  uesday were at mostly $119 to $120 live, fully steady with last week’s business.  There were some scattered deals reported in parts of the North at mostly $197 to $198, about steady with last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  Today’s Fed Cattle Exchange had an offering at 4,322 head, with just 364 head sold at $118 to $122. 

At the Hub City Livestock Auction in South Dakota, compared to last week the best test was on steers 900 to 1000 pounds, with instances of up to $5 higher on 900 to 950-pound steers.  Heifers were not well compared, but there were higher undertone notes on all heifers.  The USDA says demand was good to very good for the offering, which sold on an active market.  There were several strings and many loads offered all in mostly light to moderate plus flesh.  There were quite a few consignments off grass again this week, most were heifers, due to the ongoing drought conditions.  Quality was mostly average to attractive.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 59% heifers and 92% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 866 to 889 pounds brought $143 to $154 and feeder steers 902 to 930 pounds brought $145 to $153.25.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 704 to 746 pounds brought $139.50 to $152.85 and feeder heifers 807 to 833 pounds brought $139.25 to $146.50.

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $.45 lower at $275.79 and Select closed $2.99 lower at $253.75.  The Choice/Select spread is $19.13. Estimated cattle slaughter 119,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 1,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mostly lower on spread adjustments and profit-taking.  August lean hogs closed $.82 lower at $105.10 and October lean hogs closed $.15 lower at $105.10. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a solid negotiated run.  Processors were aggressive in their procurement efforts, and prices reflect that. Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been largely supportive of prices.  The industry expects that to continue.  Hog weights this week increased 1.6 pounds to 278.2 pounds, which is also nearly 3 pounds below last year. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.49 higher with a base range of $106 to $118 and a weighted average of $113.79.  The Iowa/Minnesota closed with a weighted average of $116.86, the Western Corn Belt has a weighted average of $116.87, and the Eastern Corn Belt has a weighted average of $112.70. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash market are $2 higher at $77.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with good demand for very heavy offerings at $52 to $63.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate to good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $72 to $78.  Boars ranged from $45 to $50 and $10 to $12.

Pork values closed weak – down $.12 at $118.69.  Ribs and butts were both sharply lower.  Loins were lower.  Hams, bellies, and picnics were all sharply higher.   Estimated hog slaughter 467,000 head – even on the week and down 1,000 on the year.