Cattle futures lower ahead of Friday’s On Feed numbers

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Cattle futures lower ahead of Friday’s On Feed numbers

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle closed lower ahead of the USDA’s on feed numbers which come out on Friday.  October live cattle closed $.32 lower at $103.32 and December live cattle closed $1.10 lower at $103.47.  October feeder cattle closed $.57 lower at $133.92 and November feeder cattle closed $.72 lower at $130.42. 

Just some scattered direct cash cattle trade was reported on Thursday.  Dressed deals in Iowa were at $164 and live deals in Kansas were at $105.  On Wednesday, dressed deals in the North were reported at $163 to $164, mostly $164 to $165, which is $3 to $4 lower than last week’s weighted averages and $1 to $2 lower than the business that took place earlier in the week.  There was also a light trade in the South at $106, which is generally steady with the bulk of the rest of the week’s business. 

At the Sheridan Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared to last week, steers sold steady to $5 lower, except 500-pound steers sold $10 lower.  Heifer calves sold $2 to $7 lower.  The USDA says demand was moderate to good.  The entire offering was high-quality.  Receipts are up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 76 percent steers and 34 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 500 to 541 pounds brought $149.50 to $160 and feeder steers 715 to 739 pounds brought $138 to $148.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 455 to 496 and feeder heifers 503 to 541 pounds brought $127.50 to $136.50.

Boxed beef closed firm on moderate demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $.39 higher at $208.86 and Select is $.17 higher at $191.08. Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – even on the week and up 3,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures were pressured by the sharply lower cash business and the weekly export numbers.  December lean hogs closed $3.00 lower at $66.20 and February lean hogs closed $1.50 lower at $66.85. 

Cash hogs closed sharply lower with moderate negotiated purchases.  Supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts are heavy and daily slaughter totals continue to push higher as packers try to make a dent in the backlog of hogs in the production system.  That’s adding more pork to an already saturated market.  However, the industry is still optimistic demand for US pork will see a big boost on the global market. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.76 lower with a base range of $56 to $65 for a weighted average of $60.57; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $3.16 lower with a weighted average of $62.68; the Western Corn Belt is $3.24 lower for a weighted average of $62.58. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $2 lower at $38.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with good demand for moderate offerings at $22 to $36.  Barrow and gilt prices were steady with moderate to good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $37 to $43.  Boars ranged from $5 to $7. 

Pork values closed firm – up $.68 at $98.84.  Bellies are sharply higher.  Hams and ribs are higher.  Loins are steady.  Picnics and butts are weak to sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 492,000 – up 10,000 on the week and 4,000 on the year.