Cattle futures sharply lower following boxed beef

Market News

Cattle futures sharply lower following boxed beef

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were sharply lower, pressured by the recent trend in beef, along with at least some disappointment over the weekly export numbers and no better than steady direct cash business. The post-USDA report sell-off in corn didn’t have an impact on feeders. October live was down $1.20 at $120.57 and December was $1.32 lower at $125.72. September feeders expired at $153.92, a loss of $.35, while October was $2.07 lower at $152.55 and November was down $2.37 at $152.90.

It was a light day for direct cash cattle trade. Southern live deals came in around $124, about steady with last week’s weighted averages. Northern dressed business mostly came in at $196, steady with last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. Scattered trade is expected tomorrow. Beef cutouts are expected to be mixed the as the week closes with light to moderate box movement.

Boxed beef cutout values closed lower, choice is $2.35 lower at $294.98 and select is $2.46 lower at $269.32. The choice/select spread is $25.66.

At the Callaway Livestock Center in Kingdom City, Missouri, compared to last week, a light test of steer calves was noted. Steers from 400 to 600 pounds sold unevenly steady. A good quality was noted in the offering for steers from 650 to 900 pounds which sold with a firm to higher undertone. Heifer calves from 450 to 550 pounds sold steady to $3 lower on a lighter offering, heifers over 650 pounds had a light offering. USDA says demand was moderate to good with a moderate offering. Receipts were up on the week and on the year. Feeder supply included 71 percent steers and 64 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers weighing 669 to 698 pounds brought $165.50 to $168.50 and feeder steers from 710 to 732 pounds brought $160.50 to $165.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers weighing 502 to 545 pounds brought $154 to $158 and feeder heifers from 753 to 772 brought $144.60 to $148.25.

Estimated cattle slaughter is 121,000 head, up 7,000 on the week and 1,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were higher, supported by the relative strength in pork and bullish weekly export sales numbers. Purchases were up 31% on the week, with Mexico and China buying about 80% of the total. October was up $.80 at $91.60 and December was $1.80 higher at $85.40.

Cash hogs closed lower. Processors continue to move their desired numbers with lower prices. They’re also monitoring the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts. Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong, but there are long-term concerns and that has put some additional pressure on prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed with a weighted average of $73.78; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $73.82; the Western Cornbelt had a weighted average of $73.84. The Eastern Cornbelt had a weighted average of $73.85.

Butcher hogs at Dorchester, Wisconsin are steady at $60. Garnavillo, Iowa is closed this week.

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $52 to $65.  Barrow and gilt prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $43 to $53.  Boars ranged from $12 to $26.  

Pork values closed higher, up $1.18 at $116.29. Bellies are up more than $14. Picnics, ribs, and loins closed higher; butts closed lower, hams sharply lower.

Estimated hog slaughter is 473,000 head, down 2,000 on the week but up 12,000 on the year.

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