Cattle futures pressure by lower cash and wholesale business
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day lower watching corn with additional pressure from lower cash and wholesale business. April live cattle closed $1.75 lower at $138.35 and June live cattle closed $1.35 lower at $135.15. April feeder cattle closed $2.47 lower at $160.52 and May feeder cattle closed $2.50 lower at $165.55.
Direct cash cattle trade activity was quiet following the active day on Wednesday. Live deals in the South were at mostly $140, $2 lower than last week’s weighted averages. Northern dressed business was mostly at $225, $2 lower than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. Asking prices were restated at $142 plus live in the South and $226 plus dressed in the North. There will likely be at least a little more business develop over the balance of the week.
At the Huss Livestock Market in Nebraska, compared to last week, weights under 650 pounds were too lightly tested for an accurate comparison, 650 to 800 pounds were steady to $7 higher with all other weights $1 to $2 lower. Heifers 600 to 750 pounds were $2 to $5 higher with all other weights $2 to $4 lower. The USDA says demand was good with active buying online. Receipts were up on the week and down on the year. Feeder supply included 55% steers with 89% of the offering over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 751 to 795 pounds brought $156 to $164.50 and feeder steers 854 to 871 pounds brought $153 to $157. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 658 to 674 pounds brought $156 to $164.50 and feeder heifers 700 to 743 pounds brought $149 to $157.
Boxed beef closed sharply lower on light demand for solid offerings. Choice closed $1.37 lower at $254.35 and Select closed $3.55 lower at $247.79. The Choice/Select spread is $6.56. Estimated cattle slaughter is 124,000 head – even on the week and up 1,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures closed mixed adjusting spreads. April lean hogs closed $1.10 lower at $105.20 and May lean hogs closed $.52 lower at $110.50.
Cash hogs closed sharply lower with a fairly light negotiated run. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong, but there are long-term concerns which adds additional pressure on prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $3.85 lower with a base range of $89 to $105 and a weighted average of $94.40; the Iowa/Minnesota had no comparison but a weighted average of $96.42; the Western Corn Belt closed $7.31 lower with a weighted average of $95.66. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady in Dorchester, Wisconsin and Garnavillo, Iowa at $66. However, they’re $2 lower at Red Oak, Iowa at $63 to $65. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 higher with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $62 to $74. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $57 to $63. Boars ranged from $35 to $40 and $17 to $22.
Pork values closed lower – down $2.01 at $106.01. Bellies dropped more than $33 on Thursday. Butts and picnics were also lower. Ribs, loins, and hams were steady to sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 476,000 head – even on the week and down 15,000 on the year.