Cattle futures sharply lower to end the week
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle futures were down sharply on the lower midday boxed beef and profit-taking, with feeders picking up additional pressure from the modestly higher move in corn. December live cattle closed $1.55 lower at $151.52 and February live cattle closed $1.77 lower at $153.25 and January feeder cattle closed $3.123 lower at $178.57 and March feeder cattle closed $2.65 lower at $181.15.
It was a quiet Friday for direct cash cattle trade. For the week Southern live deals were marked at $150, fully steady with the prior week’s weighted averages. Northern dressed business was at mostly $242, also fully steady with the previous week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.
At the Mid-Missouri Stockyards Cattle Auction, compared to last week feeder steers were steady to $5 higher. Feeder heifers traded steady. The USDA says demand for weaned and vaccinated calves was strong and brought more dollars than unweaned non-vaccinated calves. Supply was heavy with very good demand. Receipts were up on the week. Feeder supply was 43% steers and 28% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 551 to 585 pounds brought $191 to $198 and feeder steers 651 to 680 pounds brought $171.50 to $182. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 400 to 448 pounds brought $162 to $179.50 and feeder heifers 602 to 632 pounds brought $157 to $165.
At the South Dakota Hay Market, all classes of hay remain steady to firm. Demand was very good for all types and qualities of hay. Calves are arriving at feedyards in need of high-quality grass hay to get them started on feed and that’s helping to add strength to the grass hay market. High-quality dairy hay remains tough to find as the drought really diminished the overall tonnage of alfalfa. There were a lot of corn stalk bales made this year and demand for those have been strong. Alfalfa, supreme, large rounds brought $260. Alfalfa, premium, large squares brought $260. Alfalfa/grass mix, premium, large rounds brought $230. Alfalfa, grass, premium large rounds brought $200. Alfalfa, grass, good, large rounds brought $180. Corn stalk bales, large squares brought $100. Rounds brought $75 FOB and $100 delivered.
Boxed beef closed lower with very light demand for very light offerings. Choice closed $4.33 lower at $258.94 and Select closed $1.56 lower at $235.27. The Choice/Select spread was $23.68. Estimated cattle slaughter was 120,000 head – down 5,000 on the week and up 3,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 41,000 head up 12,000 on the week and down 17,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures were mixed on bear spreading. December lean hogs closed $.52 lower at $84.35 and February lean hogs closed $.42 lower at $88.40.
Cash hogs closed mixed with a very light negotiated run. It was a very slow end to the week and processors didn’t need numbers and didn’t have much of a reason to bid up. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs and demand. And while demand has held strong on the global market, there are concerns a slowing global economic picture could weaken demand and lower prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.11 higher with a base range of $76 to $92 and a weighted average of $85.34; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $6.71 lower with a weighted average of $81.95; the Western Corn Belt closed $5.29 lower with a weighted average of $81.87. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
According to the USDA’s weekly feeder pig report, early-weaned pigs were $2 per head higher and all feeder pigs were steady. Demand was good on a moderate offering. The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $42.60 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $57.19.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $60.
Pork values ended the day higher – up $1.46 at $98. Picnics, ribs, and hams were sharply higher. Loins were higher. Butts and bellies were lower to sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 450,000 head – down 18,000 on the week and down 32,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill was 91,000 head – down 73,000 on the week and down 176,000 on the year.