Cattle futures lower again ahead of On Feed numbers
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were lower ahead of Friday’s On Feed and inventory numbers. Feeder cattle were mostly lower on the same factors with additional pressure from the day’s firm move in corn. August live cattle closed $.65 lower at $100.85 and October live cattle closed $1.12 lower at $104.60. August feeder cattle were $.50 higher at $142.02 and September contracts closed $.10 lower at $143.17.
All was quiet in cattle country on Thursday. A few scattered bids surfaced at $98 live in Nebraska and Iowa and $158 dressed in those same areas. Asking prices for cattle left on showlists were around $98 plus live in the South and $159 to $160 dressed in the North.
At the Bassett Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared with two weeks ago, 500 to 950-pound steers traded steady to $10 higher and 1000-pound steers traded $2 lower. Heifers 500 to 650 pounds traded steady to $5 lower. The USDA says demand was good with several buyers and high internet bidding. Receipts were down on the week, but up on the year. Feeder supply included 81 percent steers and 84 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 850 to 897 pounds brought $135.50 to $149.50 and feeder steers 969 to 999 pounds brought $127 to $133. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 601 to 638 pounds brought $145 to $155 and feeder heifers 651 to 692 pounds brought $139.75 to $148.
Boxed beef closed higher on good demand for light to moderate offerings. Choice closed $1.11 higher at $202.26 and Select closed $1.51 higher at $190.79. Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – up 3,000 on the week and down 2,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures closed mostly higher on commercial spread trade and support from the sharply higher wholesale values during the session. August lean hogs closed $1.82 at $54.47 and October lean hogs closed $.95 higher at $51.02.
Cash hogs closed firm to higher with big negotiated numbers. Demand, both global and domestic will need to remain strong to help provide significant price support. While pork sales dropped a little below their average in this week’s Export Sales report, they were still over 30,000 tons and Mexico and China were the top purchasers. The availability of market-ready barrows and gilts is more than ample and processors continue to push daily slaughter totals higher. That’s not only helping to keep the supply chain moving, but processors are starting to dip into that backlog of hogs in the production system. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.62 higher with a base range of $30 to $40.25 for a weighted average of $36.01; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.07 higher for a weighted average of $37.53; the Western Corn Belt closed $.70 higher for a weighted average of $37.08. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $24. Pork values closed firm – up $.34 at $69.67. Hams and picnics were both sharply higher. Ribs were firm. Butts and bellies were weak. Loins closed lower.
Estimated hog slaughter is 476,000 head – up 8,000 on the week and up 6,000 on the year. Monday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 472,000 head.