Livestock futures lower on fund, technical selling

Market News

Livestock futures lower on fund, technical selling

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were lower, pressured by fund selling and the recent trend in boxed beef. October live was down $.32 at $123.42 and December was $.57 lower at $128.22. September feeders were down $1.50 at $154.25 and October was $1.52 lower at $157.72.

It was a slow Friday for cash cattle trade. Asking prices for cattle left on showlists were around $124 to $125 in the South and $204 dressed in the North. Business struggled to establish Friday but came in around $123 to $124 in the South for the week, about $1 higher than the previous week’s weighted averages. Northern dressed deals were mostly between $200 and $203 for the week, about $1 higher to $2 lower than last week’s weighted average for Nebraska. Boxed beef cutouts were lower for most of the week on light to moderate box movement.

Boxed beef cutout values closed sharply lower with Choice down $5.36 at $327.22 and Select $3.08 lower at $293.37. The Choice/Select spread is $33.85.

At the Hub City Livestock Auction in Aberdeen, South Dakota, there was not accurate comparison to the previous week. USDA says demand was good to very good with several load lots in the offering. An active market was noted even with overall buyer numbers down. Receipts were sharply lower on the week. Feeder supply included 25 percent steers and 100 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers weighing 702 to 745 pounds brought $154.25 to $158.50 and feeder steers from 853 to 857 brought $156.50 to $161.60. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers weighing 659 to 675 brought $154.50 to $165 and feeder heifers from 752 to 779 pounds brought $151.25 to $158.

Estimated cattle slaughter is 121,000 head, down 3,000 on the week but up 2,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were lower on technical weakness and long-term demand uncertainties. October was down $3.02 at $82.45 and December was $3.37 lower at $76.10.

Cash hogs closed lower. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has helped provide a lot of price support, and the industry hopes that to continue. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed nine cents lower with a base range of $82 to $90 for a weighted average of $85.86; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $88.92; the Western Cornbelt had a weighted average of $88.81; the Eastern Cornbelt was not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $70.

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for light offerings at $63 to $80.  Barrow and gilt prices were weak with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $54 to $62.  Boars ranged from $15 to $40.  

Pork values closed sharply lower, down $3.67 at $111.56. Butts closed sharply higher, hams, bellies, ribs, picnics, and loins all closed lower to sharply lower.

Estimated hog slaughter is 477,000 head, up 21,000 on the week following lower holiday slaughter totals but down 4,000 on the year.