Live, feeder cattle futures split to end week

Market News

Live, feeder cattle futures split to end week

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures ended Friday’s session mixed, mostly modestly higher, on spread trade and the week’s direct business. February was up $.45 at $142.05 and April was $.12 higher at $146.87.

Feeder cattle were lower on technical selling and the modestly higher move in corn. March was down $.62 at $166.10 and April was $.37 lower at $171.42.

A little clean up trade happened this afternoon with Southern live deals at $140, about $4 higher than last week’s weighted averages. Northern dressed trade took place at $22, $4 higher than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.

Boxed beef closed lower. Choice is down $1.65 at $279.81 and select is $.42 lower at $276.05. The choice/select spread is $3.76.

At the Winter Livestock auction in Dodge City, Kansas, compared to last week, feeder steers 450 to 700 pounds sold steady on a light offering, steers 700 to 850 pounds sold $1 to $4 higher. Heifers from 500 to 900 pounds sold $4 to $5 higher. USDA says demand was good. Receipts were sharply down on the week and on the year. Feeder supply included 40 percent steers and 80 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers weighing 716 to 749 pounds brought $157 to $165.50 and steers from 830 to 834 brought $158 to !59.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers weighing 658 to 674 pounds brought $156 to $162 and heifers from 703 to 745 pounds brought $147 to $153.

Estimated cattle slaughter is 114,000 head, down 3,000 on the week but even on the year.

Lean hog futures were higher, supported by the higher midday pork and expectations for improved packer demand as processing ramps back up following the recent winter storm. February was $.57 higher at $87.02 AND April was up $1.70 at $100.07.

Cash hogs closed lower on light negotiated purchases. Processors are moving their desired numbers with little trouble, but extreme winter weather in some areas did cause more aggressive buying midweek. 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 are $3.62 lower with a base range of $77 to $87 for a weighted average of $83.87. The Western Cornbelt closed with a weighted average of $81.57. The other regional direct markets weren’t reported at midday due to confidentiality.

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $51.

Pork carcass values closed higher, up $.20 at $97.41. Picnics and closed more than $8 higher; Butts and bellies are higher; loins closed lower; hams closed sharply lower.

Estimated hog slaughter is 430,000 head, down 33,000 on the week and 40,000 on the year.