Cattle futures up ahead of USDA report, hogs mixed

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Cattle futures up ahead of USDA report, hogs mixed

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were higher, with most months up sharply, ahead of what was expected to be a bullish USDA cattle inventory report. February live was up $.87 at $139.57 and April was $1.42 higher at $144.52. March feeders were $3.40 higher at $163.02 and April was up $3.15 at $168.45.

It was a typically quiet start to the week for cash cattle trade on Monday, especially with buyers and sellers waiting for trading signals from USDA’s cattle inventory report that came out after the close Monday. Business has not yet been established this week.

Boxed beef cutout values closed lower, choice closed $.02 lower at $290.40 and select finished down $.14 at $283.27. The choice/select spread is $7.13.

At the Oklahoma National Stockyards Feeder Cattle sale in Oklahoma City, compared to last week, Feeder steers sold unevenly steady and feeder heifers sold steady to $3 higher. Steer calves were unevenly steady and heifer calves sold $2 to $4 higher. USDA says demand was moderate on moderate supply but coming ice storms could limit buyer participation. Feeder supply included 62 percent steers and 54 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Feeder steers weighing 655 to 691 pounds brought $152 to $164.25 and steers from 700 to 747 brought $151 to $162. Feeder heifers weighing 552 to 597 pounds brought $149.50 to $164 and heifers from 601 to 647 pounds brought $144.50 to $156.

Estimated cattle slaughter was 120,000 head, up 5,000 on the week and 4,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were mixed, mostly higher, on spread trade and the bullish cash and wholesale business during the session. February was $.55 higher at $88.47 and April was up $.77 at $95.70.

Cash hogs closed lower on moderate negotiated purchases. Processors are moving their desired numbers without having to get aggressive in their procurement efforts. Demand for US pork on the global market has been strong, which is expected to continue. However, there are long term demand concerns which has been pressuring prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $6.58 lower with a weighted average of $68.53; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $77.28; the Western Cornbelt had a weighted average of $77.28; the Eastern Cornbelt was not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets were $1 higher at $48.

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $4 higher with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings. Barrows and gilts were $5 to $6 higher ranging from $44 to $52 with moderate demand for moderate offerings.

Pork values closed lower, down $1.88 at $94.51. Hams closed more than $6 lower, butts and loins were lower; Picnics, ribs and bellies closed higher. Boars ranged from $12 to $30.

Estimated hog slaughter Monday was 475,000 head, up 27,000 on the week but down 2,000 on the year.