Live cattle futures mostly lower at midweek

Market News

Live cattle futures mostly lower at midweek

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed mostly lower and feeders were lower, pressured by higher corn and both were watching direct cash business develop.  October live cattle closed $.05 higher at $124.17 and December live cattle closed $.20 lower at $129.45.  September feeder cattle closed $.55 lower at $154.72 and October feeder cattle closed $1.65 lower at $156.50. 

A light to moderate direct cash cattle trade took place on Wednesday.  Deals in the South were at $123 to $124 live, about steady with last week’s weighted averages.  There was also a light to moderate dressed trade reported in the North at $200, $1 lower than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  Many of those are marked for delayed delivery.  Asking prices are expected to be restated on Thursday at $125 plus live in the South and $202 plus dressed in the North. 

At the Interstate Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to the sale two weeks ago feeder steers are steady to $4 lower.  The USDA says demand was moderate to good and supply was moderate.  There was a larger run than the past few weeks with more new crop calves in the mix.  Receipts were up from two weeks ago and on the year.  Feeder supply included 62% steers and 44% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 550 to 590 pounds brought $164.50 to $175 and feeder steers 652 to 681 pounds brought $154.50 to $168.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 555 to 565 pounds brought $154 to $164.50 and feeder heifers 610 to 636 pounds brought $146.50 to $158. 

Boxed beef closed sharply lower on light demand for heavy offerings.  Choice is $3.07 lower at $319.82 and Select closed $6.73 lower at $283.89.  The Choice/Select spread is $35.93. Estimated cattle slaughter is 121,000 head – even on the week and up 1,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mostly lower, adjusting spreads, with concerns about long-term demand uncertainty.  October lean hogs closed $1.90 higher at $82.27 and December lean hogs closed $.07 higher at $72.25. 

Closing cash hog prices were delayed due to technical issues at the USDA.  Processors continue to watch the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  The industry remains optimistic demand for US pork on the global market and domestically will hold strong, but there is some amount of uncertainty.  And prices have reflected that.  Hog weights this week are up 3.2 pounds 282.1, that’s also up 2.4 pounds from year-ago levels. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $2 lower at $70. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices are $1 to $2 lower with good demand for heavy offerings at $60 to $77.  Barrows and gilts were $1 to $2 lower with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $51 to $60.  Boars ranged from $35 to $40 and $15 to $18. 

Pork values closed higher – up $.50 at $105.70.  Hams were sharply higher.  Bellies were also higher.  Picnics were firm.  Butts, loins, and ribs were lower to sharply lower.   

Estimated hog slaughter is 481,000 head – up 7,000 on the week and down 3,000 on the year.