Cattle futures lower on profit-taking

Market News

Cattle futures lower on profit-taking

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day lower on profit-taking, waiting for the rest of the week’s direct business to take place.  December live cattle closed $1.02 lower at $130.62 and February live cattle closed $.70 lower at $135.85.  November feeder cattle closed $1.15 lower at $158.02 and January feeder cattle closed $1.05 lower at $157.17. 

The standoff between buyers and sellers continues heading into the end of the week.  Neither side seems interested in budging. There were just a handful of deals reported at $128 live and $202 dressed, all of which are about steady with the previous week’s business.  Expect bids to be restated at $128 live and $202 dressed.  While asking prices will likely remain firm at $130 live in the South and $205 to $206 dressed in the North. 

At the Sheridan Livestock Auction in Nebraska, there was a quality run of feeder calves.  Heifers were steady to lower, while steers were higher.  The USDA says the market was active and demand was moderate to good.  Receipts were down on the week and up on the year.  Feeder supply included 76% steers and 40% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 551 to 598 pounds brought $171 to $185.75 and feeder steers 603 to 646 pounds brought $166.50 to $178.25.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 510 to 541 pounds brought $150 to $163 and feeder heifers 550 to 595 pounds brought $137 to $151. 

Boxed beef closed higher on good demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $1.73 higher at $290.22 and Select closed $.50 higher at $268.22.  The Choice/Select spread is $22.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 122,000 head – even on the week and up 2,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day higher, supported by strong weekly export sales numbers.  December lean hogs closed $1.92 higher at $77.87 and February lean hogs closed $1.62 higher at $80.17. 

Cash hogs closer lower with a solid negotiated run. Processors are still moving their needed numbers at lower prices.  They also continue to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs.  Demand for US pork on the global market has been strong, which is expected to continue.  However, there are long-term concerns, and that is putting pressure on prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.86 lower with a base range of $58 to $61.75 and a weighted average of $59.82; the Iowa/Minnesota closed with a weighted average of $60.46; the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $60.42.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $70, they were $1 lower in Red Oak, Iowa on Wednesday at $44 to $45, on a light test. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 to $3 higher with good demand for heavy offerings at $55 to $65.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $37 to $43.  Boars ranged from $15 to $25 and $10 to $20. 

Pork values closed lower – down $2.75 at $97.69.  Hams dropped more than $17 on Thursday.  Butts and picnics were also sharply lower.  Ribs, bellies, and loins were higher to sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 477,000 head – down 6,000 on the week and down 9,000 on the year.  Wednesday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 473,000 head.