Sharply higher wholesale values boost live cattle
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day higher on follow-through buying and support from sharply higher wholesale values. Feeder cattle were lower on profit-taking with pressure from the day’s higher move in corn. June live cattle closed $1.67 higher at $85.95 and August live cattle closed $1.32 higher at $92.10. May feeder cattle closed $1.45 lower at $117.10 and August feeder cattle closed $1.95 lower at $126.50.
Direct cash cattle trade activity has been limited. Another round of very light business in the North with deals at mostly $150, which is generally steady with this week’s earlier business, but $4 lower than the prior week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. While business in recent weeks has been very light, more is still needed to develop for the week, especially in the South. There were just a handful of deals reported at $95 to $96. Asking prices are holding at $100 plus live in the South and $160 plus dressed in the North.
At the Clovis Livestock Auction in New Mexico, compared to last week steer calves under 600 pounds were unevenly steady to $2 lower, feeders over 600 pounds were mostly steady to $1 lower, except 800 to 900 pounds, which were mostly $3 to $5 higher and instances of $9 higher with quality and condition more attractive. Heifer calves under 600 pounds were unevenly steady to instances of $3 lower. Receipts were up on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 53 percent steers and 63 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 765 to 799 pounds brought $110 to $117.50 and feeder steers 809 pounds brought $111.50 to $117. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 568 to 598 pounds brought $115 to $126.50 and feeder heifers 610 to 635 pounds brought $112.50 to $114.50.
Boxed beef closed on good demand for moderate to heavy offerings. Choice closed sharply higher – up $10.18 at $367.56 and Select closed $10.25 higher at $250.16. Estimated cattle slaughter is 80,000 head – down 4,000 on the week and down 43,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures closed sharply higher on follow-through buying, support form the sharply higher wholesale values during the session, and Thursday’s bullish-export sales report. May lean hogs closed $2.85 higher at $59.12 and June lean hogs closed $3.42 higher at $58.95.
Cash hogs closed higher with strong negotiated numbers. Processing slowdowns and shutdowns are creating a backlog of animals back to the producer level. While the President did sign the executive order to invoke the Defense Production Act to keep plants open, uncertainty remains as to just how much that will increase production as labor constraints remain a concern and a challenge. Not to mention there are still a lot of hogs backed up in the production system and it will take time to catch up. The industry is looking for some good news, and they could find it in today’s Export Sales report, which showed big purchases for China. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.87 higher with a base range of $34 to $43 for a weighted average of $37.53; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.90 higher with a weighted average of $38.70; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.43 higher for a weighted average of $39.22. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices in Dorchester, Wisconsin are steady at $24. Markets in Garnavillo, Iowa are closed today. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were weak with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $12 to $25. Barrow and gilt prices were steady with light demand for heavy offerings at $10 to $15. Boars brought $2 to $5.
Pork values closed higher – up $2.24 at $90.73. Ribs, bellies, picnics, butts, and hams were all higher to sharply higher. Loins closed lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 288,000 head – down 73,000 on the week and down 181,000 on the year. Monday’s hog slaughter was revised to 266,000 head.