Cattle futures uncertain ahead of On Feed numbers
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly lower and feeder cattle were mostly higher ahead of Friday’s Cattle on Feed numbers. October live cattle closed $.47 lower at $103.65 and December live cattle closed $.87 lower at $104.57. October feeder cattle closed $.10 lower at $134.40 and November feeder cattle closed $.37 higher at $131.15.
Another round of light, scattered direct cash cattle trade reported in the North on Wednesday. Deals in Eastern Nebraska were marked at mostly $164, $3 lower than the rest of the week’s dressed business and about $5 lower than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. The South was relatively quiet on Wednesday. So far this week, live deals have ranged from $105 to mostly $106, $2 lower than last week’s weighted averages. Dressed business on Monday and Tuesday ranged from $165 to mostly $166, $2.50 to $3.50 under last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.
At the Kingsville Livestock Auction in Missouri, compared to last week, steers and heifers under 700 pounds were $3 to $8 lower with the exception of a few heifer calves under 500 pounds which were steady. Heavier weights were weak to $5 lower. The USDA says demand was moderate for calves and moderate to good for yearlings. There was a nice run of yearlings on offer that included several load lots, along with many calves that were right off the cow or short-weaned. Supply was moderate. Receipts were about steady on the week and down on the year. Feeder supply included 62 percent steers and 67 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 653 to 678 pounds brought $135 to $144.75 and feeder steers 769 to 783 pounds brought $136 to $142.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 415 to 445 pounds brought $140 to $153 and feeder heifers 747 to 754 pounds brought $131.50 to $137.25.
Boxed beef closed lower to sharply lower on light demand for heavy offerings. Choice closed $2.13 lower at $208.47 and Select closed $.76 lower at $190.91. The Choice/Select spread closed at $17.57. Estimated cattle slaughter is 121,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and the year.
Lean hog futures closed mostly lower on spread adjustments and the lower cash trade during the session. December lean hogs closed $.05 lower at $69.20 and February lean hogs closed $.82 lower at $68.45.
Cash hogs closed higher with a large negotiated run. Packers bid up to move bigger numbers Wednesday afternoon. The cash hog market remains optimistic demand for US pork will see a big boost on the global market. That’s helping to provide some support and put some momentum behind prices. However, heavy supplies are worrisome. The availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample and processors continue to push daily slaughter totals higher, adding more pork to the market. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.38 higher with a base range of $56 to $68 for a weighted average of $63.22; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.90 higher with a weighted average of $65.60; the Western Corn Belt closed $.89 higher for a weighted average of $65.59. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $40. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were firm with good demand for heavy offerings at $22 to $36. Barrow and gilt prices were steady with moderate to good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $37 to $43. Boars ranged from $1 to $5.
Pork values closed higher – up $1.25 at $98.16. Hams closed more than $16 higher. Bellies, ribs, butts, loins, and picnics were all sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 492,000 head – up 3,000 on the week and down 1,000 on the year.