Cattle futures pressured by lower cash business
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were mostly lower with boxed beef down at midday, and lower cash business throughout the week. December live cattle closed $.10 lower at $179.32 and February lives closed $1.10 lower at $180.40. November feeders closed $1.5 5lower at $236.50 and January feeders closed $1.47 lower at $235.07.
There was another light round of direct cash cattle business on Thursday. Live deals in the North ranged from $183 to $185. The South has been very quiet with just some sporadic trade sprinkled in throughout the week. More business is expected to take place before the end of the day Friday. So far this week, Northern dressed deals have had a range of $288 to $290, mostly $290, $4 lower than the previous week’s weighted averages. Southern live deals have been very limited at $180 to $182.
At the Bassett Livestock Auction in Nebraska, there were limited comparable offerings, but steers, 900 pounds were steady. The USDA says demand was good with several buyers in-house and active online bidding. Receipts were down from the most recent sale and up slightly on the year. Feeder supply include 54% steers and 53% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 503 to 540 pounds brought $312 to $330.50 and feeder steers 912 to 932 pounds brought $239.25 to $248.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 870 to 893 pounds brought $220 to $237.75 and feeder heifers 1011 to 1031 brought $213.25 to $224.
Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for solid offerings. Choice was $.65 lower at $306.85 and Select closed $1.97 lower at $279.69. The Choice/Select spread is $27.69. Estimated cattle slaughter was 125,000 head – even on the week and down 3,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures were higher on short covering, despite the lower midday move in pork. December lean hogs closed $1.12 higher at $68.62 and February lean hogs closed $1.12 higher at $71.82.
Cash hogs closed lower with a light negotiated run. It looks like the cash hog market is going to pull back to finish out the week after a few days of solid business. With near-term supplies of market-ready hogs readily available, processors just aren’t being forced to get aggressive in their procurement efforts and prices have reflected that. Demand for US pork remains relatively strong on the global market, despite the slight drop in this week’s Export Sales. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.20 lower with a base range of $67 to $74 and a weighted average of $70.79; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.77 lower with a weighted average of $71.76; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.26 lower with a weighted average of $70.86. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady $55. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 higher with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $26 to $38. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $40 to $50. Boars ranged from $18 to $21 and $5 to $10.
Pork values closed lower – down $1.86 at $85.73. Bellies, picnics, and hams are all lower. Butts, loins, and ribs were higher to sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 486,000 head – up 3,000 on the week and down 6,000 on the year.
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Author: Meghan Grebner