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CATTLE CONTRACTS CLOSE AT HISTORIC HIGHS
BrownfieldAgNews reports:

Cattle buyers may be short bought, but they are slow in showing bids, except for a few in Nebraska at 238.00. DTN says their guess is live sales will eventually be 1.00 to 2.00 higher, but significant business may not develop until sometime on Friday.

Asking prices are around 153.00 plus in the South and 242.00 plus in the North. The kill was estimated at 117,000 head, 1,000 less than last week, and 8,000 more than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were firm on choice and weak on select on light to moderate demand and offerings. Choice beef was up .49 at 245.01, and select was down .61 at 237.56.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) settled 50 to 210 higher as strong buyer support redeveloped in the nearby contracts.

June and August contracts were the main focus as traders continued to look for beef demand support through the summer due to the combination of tight feeder cattle numbers and recent softness in corn prices.

Trade through the deferred contracts was higher, but seeing only moderate price support as long term market demand is more uncertain. June closed at the highest level ever seen in the history of CME trading. June settled 1.80 higher at 153.75, and August was up 2.10 at 152.75.

Feeder cattle ended the session 275 to 300 points higher. The triple digit gains dominated the feeder pit thanks to aggressive spending in the country for replacement cattle and a general lack of selling interest. August settled at 215.12 and September at 216.90 with both contracts up the $3.00 limit.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Bassett Livestock Auction at Bassett, Nebraska totaled 5322 head on Wednesday. There has been no recent test of the market for an accurate price comparison. The demand was very good for all offerings, with several buyers in the seats. 700 head of feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 672 pounds brought 250.20 per hundredweight. 225 heifers averaging 678 pounds traded at 226.87 at Bassett.

Lean hog contracts settled 55 higher to 147 lower. Moderate buyer support developed in the July and August contracts as traders tried to cover positions after the midweek losses. The remainder of the complex saw additional selling pressure as traders aggressively backed away from deferred futures with the prospect of longer term production gains erasing any tight supply issues. July settled .55 higher at 129.85, and August was up .15 at 128.80.

There was slow to moderate hog market activity with moderate demand on Thursday afternoon. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .08 lower at 126.00, the West was down .35 at 125.46, and the East had no price comparison at 124.09. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady from 116.00 to 119.00. Midwest hogs were steady to 2.00 higher with an instance of 4.00 higher from 82.00 to 88.00.

The pork carcass cutout value was 1.86 lower at 131.81 FOB plant.

Iowa barrows and gilts last week averaged 285 pounds, 2 pounds lighter than the previous week, though still 9 pounds heavier than 2013. Hogs should trend lighter through late July/early August.

The hog kill was estimated at 397,000 head, 26,000 greater than last week, but down 11,000 from last year.


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