Cattle contracts rallied modestly through closing Wednesday, with lean hog contracts struggling to rally nearby contracts.
Live cattle contracts had a mostly uneventful day as the complex closed mostly higher other than in a couple deferred contracts. June live cattle closed $0.15 higher at $95.45, August live cattle closed $1.15 higher at $97.35 and October live cattle closed $0.55 higher at $99.97. Another round of light trade transpired Wednesday afternoon in both the North and South. Southern live cattle sold for $117, which is steady with last week’s trade but $1.00 lower than Monday’s trade. Northern cattle sold dressed for $185, which was steady with last week. Wednesday’s slaughter is estimated at 114,000 head, 4,000 head more than a week ago and 6,000 head less than a year ago.
Boxed beef prices closed lower: choice down $22.83 ($295.90) and select down $13.80 ($276.78) with a movement of 141 loads (76.65 loads of choice, 24.91 loads of select, 18.89 loads of trim and 20.55 loads of ground beef).
THURSDAY’S CASH CATTLE CALL:
Slightly lower. As boxed beef prices jump lower, the cash market is bound to follow. The question is how will it follow: Will it be in major moves that take $5.00 chunks out of the market at a time or will it trade on the lower end of the previous week’s weighted average, week after week, so that the decline isn’t as hasty? Time will tell. As packer’s margins dwindle due to boxed beef prices correcting, how cash cattle are bid in the next two weeks will be insightful as to how the market will ease into summer.
Feeder cattle contracts closed $0.77 to $0.90 higher all throughout the complex. August feeder cattle closed $0.80 higher at $134.22, September feeders closed $0.87 higher at $135.77 and October feeders closed $0.90 higher at $136.57. At Wednesday’s close the stronger month is the November contract, which closed at $137.05. At Winter Livestock in Dodge City, Kansas, compared to last week, feeder steers weighing above 800 pounds sold steady to $2.00 higher and 600- to 650-pound steers sold steady. All other feeder steer weights were not accurately tested, though lower undertones were noted. Feeder heifers weighing 450 to 700 pounds sold $1.00 to $2.00 lower while heifers weighing more than 700 pounds sold steady to $3.00 stronger. The CME feeder cattle index 6/2/2020: up $0.40, $128.65.