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Cash hogs steady to higher on Monday

Cash hogs steady to higher on Monday

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were sharply lower on technical selling, waiting for the week’s direct business. August live was down $2.07 at $184.35 and October was $1.87 lower at $185.30. August feeders were $2.30 lower at $259.17 and September was down $1.60 at $260.62.

Cash cattle country got off to a slow start on Monday. Bids and asking prices likely won’t be revealed until later in the week, and significant trade volume will likely be delayed until the second half of the week. Direct trade held off until Friday last week with Southern live deals at mostly $190, fully steady with the previous week. Northern dressed trade held off until late Friday afternoon and had a range of $310 to $315, nearly steady with the week prior.

According to Oklahoma’s weekly cattle auction report, there weren’t enough feeder cattle and calves to test trends across the state last week as nearly all sales were closed for the July 4th holiday week. USDA says a few sales occurred early in the week, but these were lightly tested due to extreme heat and humidity throughout the region. Demand was very good for limited numbers of feeder cattle. The supply included 51% steers and 67% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 901 to 924 pounds brought $247 to $250. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 601 to 644 pounds sold for $255.50 to $275.50.

Boxed beef was mixed at the close. Choice was up $.04 at $330.47 and Select was down $.34 at $304.72. The Choice/Select spread was $25.75.

Estimated cattle slaughter was 115,000 head – even on the week and down 7,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were mixed, mostly lower adjusting spreads and monitoring retail clearance signals from the long holiday weekend. August was up $.35 at $89.52 and October was down $.95 at $72.52.

Cash hogs were steady to higher with light to moderate closing negotiated numbers at the major direct markets. It looks like some buyers might have to bid up a little to move the needed near-term numbers and keep chain speed at current levels. Wholesale business, at least to start the week, is showing signs of good retail clearance after the long holiday weekend, but long-term sustained domestic demand remains a question mark.

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