Cattle futures watching direct business unfold
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mixed adjusting spreads and feeders were lower watching direct cash business unfold and the lower boxed beef. August lives closed $.02 higher at $135.75 and October lives closed $.22 higher at $141.32. August feeder cattle closed $.92 lower at $177.82 and September feeders closed $.82 lower at $180.97.
There was another round of light direct cash cattle trade reported on Wednesday. Deals in Nebraska were at $140 to $142 live and $227 to $228, mostly $227 dressed. Those are about $2 below last week’s weighted averages. Live deals in Texas were at $136, fully steady with the week’s previous business. Asking prices are at $138 to $140 live in the South and $230 plus dressed in the North.
At the Interstate Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to last week, feeder steers under 650 pounds were steady to $4 lower and steers over 650 pounds were fully steady. Feeder heifers under 450 pounds were $2 to $4 lower and heifers over 450 pounds were $2 to $6 higher. The USDA says demand was moderate to good and supply was moderate. Receipts were down on the week and up on the year. Feeder supply included 49% steers and 46% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 602 to 632 pounds brought $176 to $188.40 and feeder steers 701 to 747 pounds brought $170 to $177. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 500 to 548 pounds brought $172 to $182 and feeder heifers 667 to 690 pounds brought $160 to $165.
Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for relatively light offerings. Choice closed $2.04 lower at $270.53 and Select closed $1.48 lower at $242.25. The Choice/Select spread is $28.28. Estimated cattle slaughter 124,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and up 6,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day higher, supported by the sharply higher cash trade. August lean hogs closed $2.05 higher at $114.87 and October lean hogs closed $1.52 higher at $96.02.
Cash hogs closed sharply higher with another huge negotiated run. Demand for US pork has been strong, helping provide price support. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Processors were very aggressive in their procurement efforts and bid up to move their desired numbers. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $7.19 higher with a base range of $111 to $133 and a weighted average of $127.69; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $5.48 higher with a weighted average of $129.22; the Western Corn Belt closed $5.99 higher with a weighted average of $129.52; the Eastern Corn Belt closed $.59 lower with a weighted average of $119.61.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $80. In Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 higher with good demand for heavy offerings at $50 to $62. 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 $.75 at $124.37. Hams were sharply lower. Bellies were lower. Loins were weak. Butts, picnics, and ribs were higher to sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 459,000 head – up 5,000 on the week and down 11,000 on the year.