Cattle futures fall ahead of cash
Live and feeder cattle were lower on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, anticipating a boost in direct cash. October live cattle prices were down $0.80 to $144.25, while December live cattle prices were down $0.80 to $150.07. Cattle prices fell $2.15 to $183.95 in October and $1.57 to $185.45 in November.
Direct cattle trading activity is slowly finding its footing after the long holiday weekend. A few bids emerged north of $222 and $226, while the rest of the cattle market was quiet. Feeders seem to hold more money. Asking prices popped up in the South from $143 to $144 live, while the North didn’t show its cards. Look for more business to develop throughout the week.
At the Hub City Livestock Auction in South Dakota, compared to last week, the best test was steers weighing 950 to 1,000 pounds, down $2 to $4 in the narrow test. The rest of the weight classes compared poorly. There were several strings and loads on offer, as well as quite a few packages, all of which were in high demand. Cattle were both off-grass and off-yards, and the flesh ranged from light to moderate plus the occasional heavy flesh. Quite a few open grass heifers were offered. Overall quality was slightly below last week’s sale. The market was active. Receipts were down for the week and were nearly flat for the year. The feeder supply consisted of 47% steers and the entire offering was over 600 lbs. Medium and large 1 feeders from 912 to 949 pounds made $175.25 to $188.75, and feeders from 961 to 991 pounds made $172. Medium and large 1 heifers weighing 831 to 842 pounds made $173.50 to $179.75 and heifers 903 to 943 pounds made $171.75 to $179.50.
Closed box beef mixed in light to moderate demand for a large supply. Choice closed $0.87 higher at $261.34, while Select closed $1.79 lower at $237.51. The Choice/Select spread is $23.83. Estimated cattle slaughter is 128,000 – up 3,000 on the week and 6,000 on the year.
Lean pork futures ended the day mostly higher on contracts at a discount to cash. October live cattle prices were down $0.02 at $91.07, while December lean hogs were up $0.10 at $83.60.
Stock hogs closed lower and sharply lower with a solid agreed streak. Demand for American pork on the world market was relatively high. But there are long-term demand issues that are emerging and putting pressure on prices. It’s been an interesting turn of events for the past few weeks, with processors going back and forth in their efforts to change the numbers. Some weeks they are more aggressive and bid, while others hold off on buying. And the industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Mounds and gilts on National Daily Direct closed $0.41 lower with a base range of $89.50 to $110 and a weighted average of $97.89; Iowa/Minnesota closed $9.60 lower with a weighted average of $99.14; The Western Corn Belt closed down $8.27 at a weighted average of $99.50. Prices in the Eastern Corn Belt are not reported due to confidentiality.
Beef hog prices in the Midwest cash markets are steady at $70. In Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 lower on moderate demand on moderate offers of $60 to $72. Barrows and hogs were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings from $73 to $82. Boars were $40 to $42 and $10 to $20.
Pork prices closed lower by $1.18 to $103.15. Stomachs dropped more than $10. Picnics, examples, ribs – all below. The loin and humps were higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 483,000 – up 8,000 for the week and 6,000 for the year.