Cattle futures lower to start the week

Market News

Cattle futures lower to start the week

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day lower on profit-taking and the lack of follow-through interest after the higher start.  December live cattle closed $1.17 lower at $136.95 and February live cattle closed $1.90 lower at $139.30.  January feeder cattle closed $1.42 lower at $165.72 and March feeder cattle closed $1.42 lower at $166.55. 

A quiet start to the week for direct cash cattle trade activity.  Showlists this week are larger in Nebraska/Colorado and Kansas, but nearly steady in Texas. Bids and asking prices have yet to surface.  It’s likely significant trade volume will be delayed until midweek or later. 

At midsession at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week feeder steers were $2 to $4 higher.  Feeder heifers were $3 to $5.  Steer and heifer calves were $4 to $6 higher with instances of $15 higher.  The USDA says demand was moderate to good and quality was average to attractive.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 54% steers and 45% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 553 to 599 pounds brought $170 to $187 and feeder steers 652 to 694 pounds brought $155 to $171.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 556 to 599 pounds brought $152 to $163.50 and feeder heifers 654 to 699 pounds brought $147 to $156. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $2.43 lower at $277.58 and Select closed $.26 lower at $262.02.  The Choice/Select spread is $15.56. Estimated cattle slaughter is 121,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 3,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mostly higher, adjusting spreads.  With some support from the sharply higher pork values during the session.  December lean hogs closed $.80 lower at $72.40 and February lean hogs closed $.10 lower at $80.92. 

Cash hogs closed about steady with a big negotiated run.  Demand for US pork on the global market remains strong and that has helped provide price support.  There are some long-term demand concerns, which have been limiting gains.  Processors continue to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs and for the most part have been able to move their desired numbers without having to aggressively bid up. 

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.02 higher with a base range of $52 to $58 and a weighted average of $55.15.  Both the Iowa/Minnesota and the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $55.12.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets had no comparison and were at $59.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were mostly $1 to $2 higher with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $62 to $73.  Barrows and gilts were $1 lower with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $32 to $39.  Boars ranged from $15 to $25 and $10 to $15. 

Pork values closed higher – up $3.73 at $87.71.  Hams and bellies were both sharply higher.  Loins, picnics, butts, and ribs were higher.    Estimated hog slaughter is 483,000 head – up 8,000 on the week and down 7,000 on the year.