Cattle futures higher on sharply lower corn
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day higher waiting for direct cash business to develop. Feeders were sharply higher on the sharply lower move in corn. August lives closed $.52 higher at $136.67 and October lives closed $.85 higher at $141.27. August feeders closed $4.70 higher at $179.57 and September feeders closed $4.12 higher at $181.52.
Another relatively quiet day for direct cash cattle business. There were a handful of dressed deals reported in Iowa at $230, but not near enough to establish a trend. Asking prices started at $139 to $140 live in the South, while the North was quiet. Look for business to pick up midweek or later.
At the Callaway Livestock Center in Missouri, compared to two weeks ago steer calves 400 to 500 pounds were firm to $5 higher, steers 500 to 700 pounds were mostly $5 to $10 higher, and yearlings over 700 pounds sold with a sharply higher undertone. Feeder heifers 400 to 500 pounds were $3 to $7 higher, heifers 500 to 600 pounds were $2 to $5 higher, and heifers over 600 pounds were met with a higher undertone. The USDA says the market was very active and buyers were very aggressive in their purchasing efforts. Receipts were up from two weeks ago and on the year. Feeder supply included 68% steers and 45% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 555 to 594 pounds brought $202 to $222.75 and feeder steers 606 to 649 pounds brought $197 to $210. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 450 to 498 pounds brought $185 to $198.35 and feeder heifers 550 to 584 pounds brought $177 to $186.
Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for solid offerings. Choice closed $.37 higher at $268.51 and Select closed $.83 higher at $242.17. The Choice/Select spread is $26.34. Estimated cattle slaughter 126,000 head – even on the week and up 7,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures closed mixed on spread adjustment. Nearby contracts found support in the sharply higher cash and higher wholesale business during the session. Deferred contracts were lower, pressured by long-term demand concerns. August lean hogs closed $.62 higher at $109 and October contracts closed $.15 higher at $92.60.
Cash hogs closed sharply higher with a huge negotiated run. Processors were very aggressive in their procurement efforts and bid up to move their desired numbers. Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong, helping provide price support. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $5.19 higher with a base range of $110 to $125 and a weighted average of $122.44; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.32 higher with a weighted average of $123.86; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.43 higher with a weighted average of $123.84; the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $121.54.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $80. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $42 to $54. 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 higher – up $2.40 at $117.47. Hams and bellies are both sharply higher. Picnics are higher. Ribs, butts, and loins are all lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 460,000 head – up 7,000 on the week and down 8,000 on the year. Monday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 439,000 head.