Live cattle futures higher ahead of Friday’s On Feed numbers
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly higher watching this week’s direct cash business unfold. Boxed beef was higher at midday. Feeder cattle are mixed adjusting spreads. Traders are also looking ahead to Friday’s On Feed numbers from the USDA. April live cattle were unchanged at $139.42 and June liv cattle closed $.27 higher at $135.97. April feeder cattle closed $1.20 higher at $161.77 and May feeder cattle closed $.37 higher at $165.80.
It was an active Wednesday for direct cash cattle trade. Live deals across all areas were at $138, generally steady with last week’s business. A light dressed trade was also reported in the North with deals at $221 to $223, mostly $221 steady to slightly weaker than the prior week’s deals. Most of those are marked for delayed delivery. Asking prices are at $140 to $142 live and $224 plus dressed.
At the Ozarks Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to last week feeder steers traded mostly steady to $2 higher with spots of lightweight steer calves trading $10 higher. Feeder heifers were unevenly steady from $1 higher to $2 lower on a light test. The USDA says demand was moderate for average quality feeders and very good for high-quality feeders offered. Receipts were down on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 46% steers and 42% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 605 to 639 pounds brought $178 to $185 and feeder steers 842 pounds brought $149. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 504 to 541 pounds brought $160 to $168 and feeder heifers 616 to 643 pounds brought $149 to $151.
Boxed beef closed higher on good demand for moderate offerings. Choice is $1.64 higher at $261.61 and Select closed $1.37 higher at $253.26. The Choice/Select spread is $8.35. Estimated cattle slaughter is 124,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 2,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures closed higher, supported by the sharply higher cash and wholesale business during the session. April lean hogs closed $2.30 higher at $102.55 and May lean hogs closed $3.42 higher at $114.65.
Cash hogs closed lower with a big negotiated run. Processors were very aggressive in their procurement efforts to start the day and bid up to move big numbers. However, those prices dropped off in the afternoon. Demand for US pork is strong on both the global market and domestically and that’s providing some price support. The industry also continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.54 lower with a base range of $98 to $112 and a weighted average of $107.14. The Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.02 lower with a weighted average of $110.19 and the Western Corn Belt closed $1.12 lower with a weighted average of $110.09. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $6 higher at $74.
Pork values closed lower – down $.31 at $106.40. Loins are sharply lower. Bellies and hams were weak. Ribs, butts, and picnics were higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 478,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and down 10,000 on the year.