Cattle, hog futures start the week lower
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle closed lower, pressured by the recent declines in boxed beef prices. Feeder cattle had additional pressure from the day’s higher move in corn. December live cattle closed $.87 lower at $108 and February live cattle closed $1.37 lower at $111.02. January feeder cattle closed $1.97 lower at $137.80 and March feeder cattle closed $1.27 lower at $138.15.
A quiet start to the week for direct cash cattle trade. Bids and asking prices are not yet established. Showlists this week are somewhat larger in Texas, larger in Kansas, but somewhat lower in Nebraska/Colorado. Significant trade volume will likely be delayed until the second half of the week.
At the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week feeder steers and heifers were steady. Steer calves were steady to $4 higher and heifer calves were mostly steady to firm. The USDA says demand was moderate to good and quality was average to attractive. Feeder supply included 66 percent steers and 51 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 554 to 597 pounds brought $143 to $168.50 and feeder steers 654 to 698 pounds brought $141 to $152. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 454 to 494 pounds brought $146 to $159 and feeder heifers 560 to 598 pounds brought $129.50 to $152.50.
Boxed beef closed sharply lower on light demand for moderate to heavy offerings. Choice closed $4.22 lower at $230.80 and Select closed $8.03 lower at $209.48. The Choice/Select spread is $21.32.
Estimated cattle slaughter is 119,000 head, that’s even on the week and down 2,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures were pressured by technical selling and carryover from cattle markets. Long-term demand concerns are also putting pressure on prices. December lean hogs closed $1.37 lower at $64.50 and February lean hogs closed $1.62 lower at $64.95.
Cash hogs closed mixed with moderate negotiated numbers. Supply and demand continue to be the focus of the market. The availability of market-ready barrows and gilts is more than ample, and processors are pushing daily slaughter totals higher, which adds more pork to a market that is heavily saturated. The industry is still optimistic demand strength, both globally, and domestically will hold. And that’s been beneficial to prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.06 higher with a base range of $50 to $58 for a weighted average of $55.37; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.55 higher with a weighted average of $56.60; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.28 higher with a weighted average of $56.39; the Eastern Corn Belt closed $.31 lower with a weighted average of $55.07.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $39 and $40. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were weak with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $26 to $39. Barrow and gilt prices were weak with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $35 to $41. Boars ranged from $15 to $20 and $5 to $10.
Pork values closed weak – down $.27 at $77.90. Bellies, hams, and picnics were all lower. Ribs, loins, and butts were higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 497,000 head – even on the week and up 4,000 on the year. Saturday’s hog slaughter is 319,000 head.