Sharp losses for cattle, hog futures

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Sharp losses for cattle, hog futures

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were sharply lower on technical selling, getting ready for Friday’s USDA Cattle on Feed numbers out at 3 Eastern/2 Central. Expectations for a bullish report, the marketing year high for export sales, and the higher midday boxed beef had no effect. December was down $2.40 at $108.25 and February was $2.62 lower at $110.52.

Feeder cattle were weak to sharply lower on the same factors as the live pit. November expired at $136.77, $.25 lower, and January was down $1.75 at $135.55.

Direct cash cattle business was light, mainly at $110 live and $170 to $172 dressed. Asking prices were $111 to $112 on the live basis and $174+ dressed, with a few bids at $172 dressed. Wednesday’s live trade was light to moderate at mostly $110, steady with the weighted averages for both this week and last week, with lighter dressed business mostly at $172, generally steady with last week’s weighted average for Nebraska. More trade will need to be done, but it could wait until after Friday afternoon’s USDA Cattle on Feed numbers. Beef export sales were a marketing year high at 46,400 tons, with South Korea, Mexico, and Japan leading the way. Thursday, the USDA says beef production during October was

At the Winter Livestock Auction feeder cattle sale in Kansas, compared to the previous week, 700 to 950-pound steers were $5 to $10 lower, while 500 to 700-pound steer calves were steady to $3 higher. There was no recent comparison on 600 to 850-pound heifers, with a lower undertone note, and 850 to 950-pound heifers were $1 higher, with 400 to 600-pound heifer calves $5 higher. The USDA says demand was moderate, with receipts down on the week and the year. 79% of the run were steers and 86% of the offering weighed more than 600 pounds. 600 to 700-pound steers ranged from $139 to $150.50 and 800 to 900-pound steers sold at $130 to $137.25. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers weighing 500 to 600 pounds brought $134 to $145 and 850 to 950-pound heifers were reported at $118.25 to $125.75.

Boxed beef closed firm to higher with good movement. Choice was up $1.86 at $237.70 and Select was $.27 higher at $213.89. The estimated cattle slaughter of 119,000 head was down 1,000 on the week, but up 4,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were sharply lower on the mostly lower cash during the session and a bearish week for export sales numbers as China failed to sustain week to week demand. December was down $2.10 at $63.70 and February was $2.85 lower at $63.05.

Cash hog business was mixed with moderate closing negotiated numbers. That mostly lower trend comes as most buyers try to limit spending in the face of demand uncertainties. Export sales of 28,900 tons were down 32% on the week, mainly to Mexico, Canada, and South Korea. China bought 2,100 tons, but also canceled on 1,400 tons. The USDA’s red meat production numbers for October had pork production at 2.599 billion pounds, a little bit lower than a year ago, with the cold storage report scheduled for Monday afternoon.

National direct barrows and gilts closed $.04 lower at $51 to $59.75 for a weighted average of $58.48, with Iowa/Southern Minnesota $.044 higher at $58.97 and the Western Corn Belt up $1.68 at $58.88. Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets were $2 lower at $35 in Dorchester, Wisconsin and $39 in Garnavillo, Iowa. Illinois direct sows were steady at $32 to $45 on good demand for moderate to heavy offerings. Barrows and gilts were steady at $39 to $42 with moderate demand and offerings. Boars ranged from $5 to $19.

Pork closed $1.54 higher at $79.22. Butts, ribs, and hams were firm to sharply higher. Loins were steady, picnics were weak, and bellies were sharply lower. The estimated hog slaughter of 491,000 head was up 8,000 on the week and 7,000 on the year.

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