Cattle futures mostly lower to start the week
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly lower ahead of the week’s direct cash business and feeders were pressured by the higher move in corn. April live cattle closed $.47 lower at $146.40 and June live cattle closed $.27 lower at $141.10. March feeder cattle closed $1.07 lower at $165.02 and April feeder cattle closed $1.15 lower at $170.27.
It was a quiet start to the week for direct cash cattle trade activity. Showlists this week are mixed, higher in Texas, but lower in Kansas, and Nebraska/Colorado. Bids and asking prices have yet to be established. And it’s likely the bulk of the week’s business will take place mid-week or later.
At the Oklahoma National Stockyards, offerings were very limited due to the winter storm that moved in late last week. The USDA says demand was extremely good for the light run. Feeder steers and heifers were $2 to $6 higher. Steer and heifer calves were $5 to $10 higher. Quality was average to attractive. Receipts were a fraction of the previous week and year. Feeder supply included 52% steers and 66% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 703 to 744 pounds brought $162 to $168 and feeder steers 858 to 871 pounds brought $160 to $161.75. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 618 to 640 pounds brought $154 to $161 and feeder heifers 764 to 768 pounds brought $149.75 to $153.
Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $.85 lower at $278.96 and Select is $1.01 lower at $275.04. The Choice/Select spread is $3.92. Estimated cattle slaughter is 121,000 – up 1,000 on the week and up 8,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures closed mostly higher on spread trade and packer demand expectations. April lean hogs closed $1.20 higher at $101.27 and May lean hogs closed $1.15 higher at $104.82.
Cash hogs closed mixed with solid negotiated purchases. Processors are moving their desired numbers at much lower prices. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts. Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong. And while that is expected to continue in the near term, there are some long-term demand concerns, which have been adding increasing pressure to the price picture. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $9.35 lower with a base range of $69 to $90 and weighted average of $74.52; the Iowa/Minnesota had no comparison with a weighted average of $87.10; the Western Corn Belt closed $5.53 higher with a weighted average of $87.10. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets had no comparison but brought $48 to $51. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $4 higher with moderate demand for light offerings at $45 to $56. Barrows and gilts were $2 to $4 higher with moderate demand for moderate offerings. Boars ranged from $25 to $30 and $13 to $17.
Pork values closed higher – up $.78 at $98.19. Ribs, hams, loins, and bellies all closed higher. Butts and picnics were lower and sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 481,000 head – up 6,000 on the week and down 7,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill has been revised to 212,000 head.