Cattle futures close modestly lower
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were mostly modestly lower, watching direct business develop, with steady prices reported during the session. Feeder cattle were down on profit taking and technical selling. February live was up $.07 at $157.35 and April was down $.15 at $161.27. January feeder cattle were $1.42 lower at $183.80 and March was down $1.67 at $186.55.
Direct cash trade ended the day quiet. A light trade was reported in parts of the South today at $157, fully steady with last week’s weighted averages. A few dressed deals have been reported in parts of Eastern Nebraska at $252, roughly $.50 higher than last week’s weighted average. Some asking prices remain firm around $158 to $159 in the South, and $255-plus in the North.
At the, Hub City Livestock Auction in South Dakota, compared to two weeks ago, different weight classes of both steers and heifers with best test on steers 600 to 650 pounds $10 to $15 higher and best test on heifers 550 to 600 pounds mostly steady. The USDA says there was good demand for calves, thin fleshed, black hided calves saw very good demand. Quite a few loads and many packages on offer with the majority being home raised and average to attractive in quality. Receipts were down on the week but up on the year. 67 percent of the feeder supply was steers and 79 percent was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 Feeder steers 613 to 648 pounds brought $199 to $211 and steers 703 to 735 pounds brought $183 to $199.50. Medium and Large 1 Feeder heifers 561 to 599 pounds brought $178.50 to $193 and feeder heifers 757 to 781 pounds brought $164 to $168.
Box beef closed mixed with Choice $1.26 lower at $281.63 and Select $.55 higher at $256.95. The Choice/Select spread is $24.68.
Estimated cattle slaughter is 127,000 up 1,000 on the week and 15,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures were pressured by demand uncertainties ahead of Friday’s holiday delayed weekly export sales numbers. February was $1.55 lower at $82.52 and April was down $1.37 at $91.52.
Cash hogs closed mixed. Processors didn’t have to work hard to meet their procurement efforts to start of the new year. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. There are several concerns about a slowing global economy.
Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were $.92 higher with a base range of $72 to $77 with a weighted average price of $74.39; Iowa/Minnesota was $.85 lower with a weighted average price of $74.35; the Western Corn Belt was $.60 lower with a weighted average price of $74.55; the Eastern Corn Belt did not report due to confidentiality reasons.
Butcher hogs were steady with barrows and gilts at $58 and boars at $13. At Illinois, slaughter slow prices were steady with moderate demand for light to moderate offerings sows ranged from $35 to $47. Barrows and gilt prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $56 to 66. Boards ranged from $15 to $20 and $10 to $13.
Pork values closed $1.51 lower at $84.32. Loins, butts, picnics, hams and bellies were lower. Ribs were higher.
Estimated hog slaughter is 490,000 up 10,000 on the week and 28,000 on the year.