The cattle contracts flounder through Monday’s trade while the lean hog contracts didn’t bat an eye at shooting higher at Monday’s earliest opportunity.
Other than the downward attitude that filtrated its way through the live cattle complex, there wasn’t much else to note about Monday’s trade. A lack of trader interest sent the contracts trading lower, and the cash cattle market is yet to be tested as it’s too early in the week for interest to have developed. April live cattle closed $0.50 lower at $120.35, June live cattle closed $0.57 lower at $118.60 and August live cattle closed $0.50 lower at $118.65. New showlists appear to be higher in Texas, and Nebraska/Colorado and somewhat lower in Kansas. Monday’s slaughter is estimated at 119,000 head — 7,000 head more than a week ago and 32,000 head more than a year ago.
Last week’s negotiated cash cattle trade totaled 88,624 head. Of that 55% (48,568 head) are committed for delivery in the next two weeks while the remaining 45% (40,056 head) are committed for delivery in the following 15 to 30 days.
Boxed beef prices closed higher: choice up $0.12 ($276.17) and select up $0.03 ($269.13) with a movement of 91 loads (44.18 loads of choice, 17.51 loads of select, 9.67 loads of trim and 19.68 loads of ground beef).
TUESDAY’S CASH CATTLE CALL:
Steady to $1.00 higher. Feedlots have their work cut out for them this week, but higher trade isn’t completely out of the question. As feedlots step back and see corn prices rallying amid rallying boxed beef prices, feedlots know there is more to be had than that packers are currently paying.
The recent spike in corn prices has really come as a hinderance to the feeder cattle contracts. With cost of gains on everyone’s mind, it’s hard to stomach higher corn prices while fat cattle prices continue to dance around $120.00 live. Feedlots have gotten creative in using other feeds to try to lessen some of their input costs, but when inputs are a lofty problem, operations must become meticulous about where every penny goes. April feeders closed $1.90 lower at $137.72, May feeders closed $1.25 lower at $142.47 and August feeders closed $1.77 lower at $152.77. At Joplin Regional Stockyards in Carthage, Missouri at their midsession point compared to last week feeder steers under 600 pounds were selling steady, while those under 600 pounds were selling steady to $3.00 lower. Feeder heifers that weighed under 500 pounds sold steady and those weighing more than 500 pounds sold $3.00 to $5.00 lower. The CME Feeder Cattle Index for April 16: down $1.55, $140.13.