Outside markets pressure cattle futures
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were lower, pressured by outside markets and the lower boxed beef prices during the session. December live cattle closed $.65 lower at $185.37 and February lives closed $.77 lower at $189.60. November feeders closed $.12 lower at $250.30 and January feeders closed $1.00 lower at $253.05.
There was a light direct cash cattle business reported on Thursday. Deals in Nebraska were marked at $288 dressed, generally steady money with the week’s previous business. So far this week deals in the North have ranged from $288 to $291, mostly $290 to $291, steady to $1 higher than the prior week’s weighted average basis. Live deals in the South have been marked at $182 to $183, steady to $1 lower than the previous week’s business.
At the Bassett Livestock Auction in Nebraska, steers 850 to 950 pounds were $5 to $14 lower. There wasn’t a comparable offering for heifers. The USDA says demand was good with several buyers on hand. Receipts were down on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 44% steers and 99% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 870 to 897 pounds brought $243.25 to $254.75 and feeder steers 1028 to 1040 pounds brought $231.75 to $238.75. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 872 to 880 pounds brought $238.75 to $241 and feeder heifers 905 to 947 pounds brought $235 to $245.25.
Boxed beef closed mixed with light to moderate demand for solid offerings. Choice was $1.00 higher at $297.76 and Select closed $.10 lower at $274.77. The Choice/Select spread is $22.99. Estimated cattle slaughter was 124,000 head – even on the week and down 4,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day higher, supported by strong export sales and higher pork values during the session. December lean hogs closed $3.10 higher at $72.27 and February lean hogs closed $2.85 higher at $75.95.
Cash hogs closed lower with a light negotiated run. With ample supplies of market-ready hogs in the near term, processors aren’t having to get too aggressive in their procurement efforts. By the look of the day’s business, it appears they have needed numbers in hand. Demand for US pork has been solid on the global market, that’s supported by another strong export sales report from the UDSA. However, there are concerns domestic demand could hit a seasonal lull. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.48 lower with a base range of $69.50 to $72 and a weighted average of $70.29; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.39 lower with a weighted average of $70.85; the Western Corn Belt closed $.86 lower with a weighted average of $70.95. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $55 in Dorchester, Wisconsin and steady at $48 in Red Oak, Iowa. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $21 to $32. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $39 to $49. Boars ranged from $20 to $25 and $5 to $10.
Pork values closed higher – up $.34 at $94.98. Hams, bellies, and loins were all higher. Picnics, butts, and ribs were lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 481,000 head even on the week and down 9,000 on the year.