Cattle futures supported by higher boxed beef
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day higher, supported by the higher boxed beef during the session. August live cattle closed $1.57 higher at $134.50 and October live cattle closed $1.47 higher at $139.95. August feeder cattle closed $.60 higher at $173.30 and September feeder cattle higher at $.97 higher at $177.07.
It was another sluggish day for direct cash cattle trade activity. The lone bid to surface was in Iowa at $148 live. Packers and feedlots appear to be in a bit of a standoff which means the bulk of the week’s business could be delayed until sometime Thursday or Friday.
At the OKC West Livestock Auction in Oklahoma, compared to last week feeder steers and heifers were lightly tested. The bulk of the week’s business sold at $4 to $6 higher. The USDA says demand was good to very good. Steer and heifer calves were too lightly tested for a trend. Receipts were down on the week and up on the year. Feeder supply included 59% steers and 80% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 777 to 795 pounds brought $169.50 to $180 and feeder steers 808 to 845 pounds brought $165 to $175. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 723 to 740 pounds brought $160.50 to $163 and feeder heifers 750 to 786 pounds brought $152.50 to $156.
Boxed beef closed sharply higher on strong demand for moderate offerings. Choice was $3.37 higher at $268.05 and Select closed $3.06 higher at $242.93. The Choice/Select spread is $25.12. Estimated cattle slaughter 126,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and 5,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day mixed, adjusting spreads. August lean hogs closed $3.25 higher at $109.20 and October lean hogs closed $2.82 higher at $92.22.
Cash hogs closed higher with a huge negotiated run. Processors started the day very aggressive in their procurement efforts and bid up to move their desired numbers. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Demand for US pork on the global market has been strong and that’s helping provide some price support. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $3.28 higher with a base range of $112 to $127 and a weighted average of $123.74; the Iowa/Minnesota is $2.10 higher with a weighted average of $125.51; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.92 higher with a weighted average of $125.29. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $77. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $40 to $52. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $74 to $83. Boars ranged from $45 to $50 and $10 to $15.
Pork values closed lower – down $2.98 at $111.50. Bellies dropped more than $22. Hams were also lower. Loins, picnics, butts, and ribs were higher to sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 476,000 head – up 10,000 on the week and up 14,000 on the year. Tuesday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 453,000 head.