Cattle move higher, hogs mixed on spread trade

Market News

Cattle move higher, hogs mixed on spread trade

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were up and feeders were mostly higher, supported by the recent strength in beef and getting ready for the week’s direct business. August live was up $.65 at $123.65 and October was $.65 higher at $128.12. August feeders were $.02 higher at $159.32 and September was $.15 lower at $163.05.

Direct cash cattle trade was quiet on Tuesday with too little business to establish a range. Asking prices in the South came in from $123 to $124 live. Northern asking prices were not established.

Boxed beef ended the day sharply higher on strong demand for moderate supply. Choice closed $5.52 up at $305.32. Select finished $3.80 higher at $284.61. The Choice/Select spread is $20.71.

At the Cattlemen’s Livestock Auction in Belen, New Mexico, compared to last week, steer and heifer calves and feeders mostly sold steady. Slaughter cows were $4 to $5 higher. Receipts were down on the week and on the year. Feeder supply included 53 percent steers and 25 percent of the offerings were over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 455 to 485 pounds brought $165 to $180 and feeder steers 520 to 542 pounds brought $165 to $170. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 550 to 580 pounds brought $142 to $158.50 and feeder heifers 700 to 725 pounds brought $126 to $131.

Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head, down 2,000 on the week but up 2,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were mixed, mostly lower, on spread trade, follow through selling, and long-term pork demand uncertainties. August was up $.77 at $109.67 and October was down $.72 at $83.87.

Cash hogs closed slightly higher. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts. While prices have pulled back in recently, the strong demand for US pork on the global market and domestically have provided some price support.  Overall, that is expected to continue.  However, should a disruption occur, prices would likely be negatively impacted. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct had a weighted average of $99.20; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $101.48; the Western Cornbelt had a weighted average of $100.91; the Eastern Cornbelt was not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $70. Garnavillo, Iowa is closed for the week.

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with good demand for heavy offerings at $69 to $85.  Barrow and gilt prices were $2 lower with moderate to good demand for moderate offerings at $62 to $70.  Boars ranged from $10 to $50.  

Pork values closed lower, down $1.84 at $122.40. Loins, butts, and picnics are higher. Bellies and ribs are lower; hams are sharply lower.

Estimated hog slaughter is 478,000 head, up 9,000 on the week and 22,000 on the year.