Cattle futures move higher as direct business picks up

Market News

Cattle futures move higher as direct business picks up

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were up and feeders were mostly higher, watching direct cash business develop with a bullish tone in the outside markets. October live was $.82 higher at $123.27 and December was up $.75 at $128.55. September feeders were down $.05 at $154.80 and October was up $1.05 at $157.67.

Light to moderate direct cash cattle trade developed on Wednesday with deals being reported in the North at $198, about $1 lower than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. Southern live deals have come in around $124, mostly steady with last week’s weighted averages. Northern asking prices were being set around $200 and Southern asking prices were establishing around $125.

Boxed beef cutout values closed sharply lower, choice is $3.54 lower at $307.83 and select is $2.51 lower at $275.50. The choice/select spread is $32.33.

At the Roswell Livestock Auction in New Mexico, compared to last week, steer calves and feeders sold $2 to $4 higher. Heifer calves and feeders sold $4 to $6 higher. USDA says demand was good with active trade taking place. Receipts were down on the week and down sharply on the year. Feeder supply included 48 percent steers and 24 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers weighing 563 to 637 pounds brought $158 to $164 and feeder steers from 673 to 680 pounds brought $140 to $144. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers weighing 423 to 448 pounds brought $150 to $157 and feeder heifers from 805 to 832 pounds brought $126 to $130.

Lean hog futures ended a two-sided session modestly lower ahead of the week’s USDA reports. The August cold storage numbers were reported Wednesday afternoon, with weekly export sales and August livestock slaughter totals out Thursday, and the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report Friday. October was down $.52 at $83.85 and December down $.22 at $73.37.

Cash hogs closed lower. Hog prices have been on a downward trend for most of the month. Processors continue to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts. With the ample supplies, they’ve been able to move their desired numbers with lower bids.  Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong, but there are some concerns about the long-term demand picture. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct had a base range of $75 to $78 and a weighted average of $77.16.  The Iowa/Minnesota closed with a weighted average of $77.48 and the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $77.30.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hogs at Dorchester, Wisconsin are steady at $60. Garnavillo, Iowa is closed for the week. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were mostly $3 lower with moderate demand for very heavy offerings at $52 to $70.  

Barrow and gilt prices were $1 with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $45 to $55.  Boars ranged from $15 to $30. 

Pork values closed sharply higher, up $4.16 at $106.92. Hams closed up more than $15; bellies, ribs and butts closed higher. Picnics closed lower.

Estimated hog slaughter is 471,000 head, up 4,000 on the week but down 15,000 on the year.