Packer inquiry in the cattle remained mostly nonexistent on Tuesday afternoon. And not even a token bid was reported. Asking prices are around 129.00 plus in the South and 198.00 plus in the North. Significant trade volume will probably be delayed until the second half of the week. DTN reports they have heard of one major Nebraska plant that will be dark on Wednesday, leading to a lower estimated slaughter. The kill totaled 128,000 head, 3,000 more than last week, but 5,000 below a week ago.
Boxed beef cutout values were firm to higher in the afternoon report on moderate demand and light to moderate offerings. Choice beef was up .63 at 193.65 and select was 1.16 higher at 176.45.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 20 to 40 points higher on light to moderate price support that developed at midday as corn futures were limited to light gains. Higher boxed beef values and expectations that packers are attempting to limit overall short term supplies with procurement adjustments lent additional support to the market. December settled .40 higher at 125.67, and February was up .37 at 129.37.
Feeder cattle ended the session nearly flat, unchanged to .05 lower. The trading range was extremely narrow for much of the session despite early pressure that developed across the complex at the opening bell. Higher live cattle futures and the inability of corn futures to move significantly higher slowed the initial pressure in the feeder pit. November settled .05 lower at 144.85, and January was also down .05 at 146.72.
Feeder cattle receipts at the Joplin Regional Stockyards on Monday totaled 4105 head. Compared to last week, steer calves were steady to 2.00 lower, heifer calves were 2.00 to 3.00 lower, yearlings traded steady to 2.00 higher. The demand and supply was called moderate. The bulk of the offering was fleshy, bawling calves. Feeder steers medium and large 1 weighing 570 lbs. averaged 151.98 per hundredweight. 526 lb. heifers brought 137.12.
Lean hogs settled 65 points higher to 22 lower. The nearby contracts bounced higher in reaction to moderate to strong price support in the soybean complex and higher cash prices in the Midwest direct trade areas. There was pressure on the deferred contracts on concerns of weakening long term demand. December settled .65 higher at 77.57, and February was up .47 at 83.42.
There was slow market activity with light demand in the hogs on Tuesday. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 3.24 higher at 81.21 on a carcass basis, the West was up 2.11 at 80.29, and the East was .56 lower at 77.77. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed 1.00 to 3.00 lower from 73.00 to 76.00. Terminal hogs were 1.00 to 2.00 lower from 50.00 to 56.00.
Pork trading was moderate, with light to moderate demand and mostly moderate offerings. Pork carcass cutout value was 1.19 lower at 85.30.
The sharp losses in cash hog prices Monday once again brought back the reality that packers are able to find plenty of readily available hogs to fuel the aggressive processing schedules that have been seen over the last several weeks. This could continue to limit the ability of producers to stabilize price levels over the near future.
Tuesday’s hog slaughter was estimated at 435,000 head, 15,000 more than last week, and 4,000 greater than last year.