Cattle futures mixed with direct cash steady to lower
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle were mostly lower and feeders were mixed, watching corn and the direct markets. Direct cash markets were quiet during Wednesday’s session following the light trade Tuesday. June live was down $.42 at $132.30 and August was $.22 lower at $132.52. May feeders were $.10 higher at $154.60 and August was $.20 lower at $167.95.
Boxed beef closed lower, with light to moderate movement. Choice was down $.72 at $262.93 and Select was $1.29 lower at $244.06. The estimated cattle slaughter of 125,000 head was unchanged on the week and up 4,000 on the year.
Direct cash cattle markets were mostly quiet. The USDA reported trade in the north at $140 live, steady to $2 lower than last week, with dressed business mainly at $223, mostly $3 lower than a week ago. A handful of sales were reported in Kansas at $137 live, steady with Tuesday. The other major feeding areas remained quiet. Asking prices were $138+ on the live basis and $226 dressed, with bids at $222 to $224 dressed. Tuesday’s live business was light at $137, down $1 from last week’s weighted average in the south, with scattered dressed sales at $224 to $227, mostly $224. Offerings at the Fed Cattle Exchange were 1,558 head, with no sales as buyers failed to meet reserve prices.
At the OKC West Livestock Auction feeder cattle sale in El Reno, Oklahoma, compared to the previous week, feeder steers were mostly steady with a few $2 higher, and heifers were up $2 to $5. The USDA says demand was moderate to good for feeder steers and heifers. Steer and heifer calves were $3 to $6 lower with limited comparable offerings and moderate demand. Receipts of 6,264 head were a drop of more than 4,000 from the previous week and 3,000 from last year. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers weighing 800 to 900 pounds were reported at $141.50 to $150 and 900 to 1,000-pound steers brought $133.50 to $145.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers weighing 700 to 800 pounds ranged from $137.50 to $156 and 800 to 900-pound heifers sold at $135.50 to $152.50.
Lean hog futures were mostly lower on spread trade, demand uncertainties, and the lower midday move in pork. May was the exception, up $.02 at $109.05, while July was down $1.10 at $107.95.
Pork closed $1.17 lower at $107.07. Butts, ribs, hams, and bellies were down sharply, while picnics were weak and loins were up solidly. The estimated hog slaughter of 466,000 head was down 13,000 on the week and 21,000 on the year.
Cash hogs were steady to higher with solid negotiated numbers at the major direct markets. Most buyers continued to monitor the tighter market ready supplies and demand ahead of Memorial Day weekend. The average Iowa/Southern Minnesota barrow and gilt weight was 286.6 pounds, up 0.2 on the week and 3.1 on the year.
National direct barrows and gilts closed $.04 higher with a base price range of $100 to $116.50 with a weighted average of $112.62, with Iowa/Southern Minnesota up $2.88 at $115.34 and the Western Corn Belt $2.90 higher at $115.48. The Eastern Corn Belt had no reported comparison with a weighted average of $106.22. Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $70. Illinois direct sows were $1 lower at $46 to $58 with light to moderate demand and offerings. Barrows and gilts were steady at $65 to $74 also on light to moderate demand for light to moderate offerings. Boars ranged from $10 to $50.