Weaker cash trade continues to pressure cattle futures
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly lower and feeder cattle closed lower on follow-through selling and the weaker cash trade. August live cattle closed $.25 higher at $103.22 and October live cattle closed $1.25 lower at $104.90. September feeder cattle closed $1.20 lower at $140.02 and October live cattle closed $.97 lower at $140.17.
It was a quiet end to the week for direct cash cattle trade. There’s just not been a lot of activity. There was a light to moderate trade took place in the South at $104 to $105 live over the week and just a handful of dressed deals in the North, which ranged from $165 to $168. Both are below the previous week’s weighted averages.
In Missouri this past week, feeder steers and heifers were $1 to $5 lower. The supply of feeders was moderate. The USDA says demand for cattle was moderate, but at a lower price level. Receipts were up on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 51 percent steers and 55 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 652 to 698 pounds brought $138 to $159.50 and feeder steers 800 to 849 pounds brought $128 to $148.25. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 600 to 649 pounds brought $122 to $154 and feeder heifers 650 to 699 pounds brought $118 to $150.25.
At the South Dakota Hay Market, compared to last week Alfalfa hay was steady to firm, grass hay was not well tested. The USDA says there was good demand for dairy quality hay and the best demand remains from out of state dairies. There was light to moderate demand for grass hay and moderate for straw. Dry weather has allowed high quality alfalfa hay to be made, but tonnage is much reduced as regrowth with hampered by the lack of rain. Drought conditions intensified and expanded as there wasn’t any relief in the weather conditions. Alfalfa Supreme, large squares brought $250, Alfalfa Good, large squares brought $225, and Alfalfa fair large squares brought $150. Grass Premium large rounds brought $120 and Grass good large rounds brought $100.
Boxed beef closed mixed with light to moderate demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $2.14 lower at $229.40 and Select closed $.06 higher at $214.86. The Choice/Select spread is $14.54. Estimated cattle slaughter is 116,000 head – even on the week and down 1,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 66,000 head – even on the week and up 1,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day lower, pressured by the lower wholesale values and long-term supply and demand concerns. October lean hogs closed $2.07 lower at $53.65 and December lean hogs closed $1.37 lower at $55.20.
Cash hogs closed firm to higher with fairly light negotiated numbers. Packers bid up to move their desired numbers for the day. But, overall, heavy supplies are pressuring prices. Domestic demand has been relatively strong, but there are a lot of unknowns adding volatility to prices. If prices are going to turn around and consistently move higher, increased demand, both globally and domestically will need to see significant improvement. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.24 higher with a base range of $38 to $43.37 for a weighted average of $42.89; the Iowa/Minnesota is $1.23 higher for a weighted average of $42.75; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.11 higher for a weighted average of $42.75. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
This week’s Feeder Pig Report from the USDA has early-weaned pigs $4 per head higher and all feeder pigs $3 per head higher. Demand was moderate for moderate offerings and receipts included 43% formulated prices. Total Composite formula range for early-weaned pigs was $18.44 to $42.64 for an average of $32.68. Total Composite cash range was $8 to $26 for an average for $18.57. Total Composite weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $24.99 and the average for all feeder pigs was $23.49.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady today at $27. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with good demand for moderate offerings at $11 to $23. Barrow and gilt prices were $1 higher, with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $22 to $27. Boars ranged from $1 to $3.
Pork values closed lower – down $1.39 at $71.39. Hams and loins were sharply lower. However, bellies and picnics closed sharply higher. Ribs and butts were firm to higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 481,000 head – up 5,000 on the week and up 11,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 276,000 head – up 49,000 on the week and up 194,000 on the year.