Cash cattle unestablished at midday, cash hogs higher
There are hints of interest in cattle country today, but otherwise slow to start. There are a few asking prices around $137 to $138 in the South but nothing to speak of in the North yet. Packers and feeders seem unwilling to tip their hand so far, but demand needs to be met, so packer inquiry should improve over the next day or two as their need for cattle grows.
There was strength in yesterday afternoon’s boxed beef and that continues today, with choice boxes $2.01 higher at $266.49, and select boxes up $2.55 at $257.73.
Feeder cattle sales were a rarity last week, but it’s more so this week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. For instance, the only sale in New Mexico last week was at Roswell. Their market for the week was very uneven on steer and heifer calves, mostly $2.00 to $4.00 higher, instances $9.00 to $16.00 higher, with feeders over 600 pounds $6.00 higher.
Medium and large #1 steers:
42 head, averaging 512 pounds, brought $176.00 to $179.00.
112 head, averaging 559 pounds, brought $167.50 to $186.00.
Last week’s friendly Hogs and Pigs Report made for bullish hog futures to start the week, but direct cash hogs fell Monday and wholesale pork got hammered Monday afternoon. On the other hand, last week’s report indicates tighter hog supplies and pork exports for the year so far are the second highest on record.
There’s no price comparison to yesterday’s morning National Direct butcher hog price, but it’s higher than yesterday’s close, ranging from $58.00 to $62.00, with a weighted average of $60.18.
The pork carcass cutout had a big fall Monday afternoon, but there’s some recovery today. Carcasses are $3.78 higher at $90.11. Picnics are up $4.23 and hams up an impressive $7.23.