Cattle futures position squaring ahead of Friday’s reports

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Cattle futures position squaring ahead of Friday’s reports

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly lower position squaring ahead of Friday’s USDA reports with pressure from the lower boxed beef prices and feeders were supported by the lower move in corn.  August live cattle closed $.02 lower at $135.72 and October lives closed $.35 lower at $140.97.  August feeder cattle closed $.45 higher at $172.27 and September feeders closed $.32 higher at $181.30. 

There was another light to moderate round of direct cash cattle business on Thursday.  Live deals in the South were at $136 and dressed deals in the North were at $226 to $232.  Those are fully steady with the week’s previous business.  The bulk of the week’s business is likely wrapped up, but some cleanup trade is expected before the end of the day Friday.  So far this week, live business has been at $136, about $.50 to $1 below last week’s weighted averages and dressed deals in the North have been marked at mostly $227, $2 below last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. 

At the Mitchell Livestock Auction in South Dakota, compared to last week there was a light number of steers offered.  Steers 750 to 800 pounds were $8 higher.  Heifers were met with a higher undertone and heifers 850 to 950 pounds were $1 to $2 higher.  The USDA says demand was good.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 84% heifers and 96% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 717 pounds brought $190.60 and feeder steers 790 pounds brought $184. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 732 to 744 pounds brought $172.10 to $174.75 and feeder heifers 906 to 947 pounds brought $151.25 to $162.25.

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for relatively light offerings.  Choice closed $2.77 lower at $267.76 and Select closed $1.72 lower at $240.53.  The Choice/Select spread is $27.23. Estimated cattle slaughter 123,000 head – even on the week and up 2,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures ended the day mostly lower on spread adjustments.  August lean hogs closed $1.42 higher at $116.30 and October lean hogs closed $.25 lower at $95.77. 

Cash hogs closed mixed with a solid negotiated run. Demand for US pork has been strong on the global market and that’s been helping provide price support.  However, there are long-term concerns about demand, which adds pressure to prices.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market ready hogs.  And processors have been fairly aggressive in their procurement efforts this week. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.98 lower with a base range of $112.50 to $134 and a weighted average of $124.71; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.06 higher with a weighted average of $129.28; the Western Corn Belt closed $.60 lower with a weighted average of $129.92.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $80, in Red Oak, Iowa they’re higher at $82.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with good demand for good 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 $.47 at $123.90.  Ribs were sharply lower.  Hams and butts were lower.  Loins, picnics, and bellies were firm to higher. Estimated hog slaughter 428,000 head – down 25,000 on the week and down 42,000 on the year.