Cattle futures ended the holiday-shortened week mixed but generally slightly lower. After cash business was established during the week and futures adjusted, traders did not see much more to do before the weekend. Hogs made an impressive increase in the May contract as April expired. Traders were not shy about adding premium.
Cattle: Steady Futures: Mixed Live Equiv: $202.72 +$0.26*
Hogs: Higher Futures: Higher Lean Equiv: $117.63 +$1.22**
*Based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue. (The Live Cattle Equiv. Index has been updated to depict recent changes in live cattle weights and grading percentages.)
** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue
Cattle finished a strong week in both cash and futures. This was positive in light of corn futures continuing to make new contract highs. Feedlots hope there is more to come as increased cash prices are needed to keep up with rising feed prices. Last week, dressed cattle in the North traded $2.00 to $3.00 higher outperforming live cattle trade in the South which was $1.00 higher.
Packers may be a little more aggressive this week if showlists again do not show ample market-ready cattle. However, seeing higher corn futures beginning the week due to further planting delays may put some pressure on feedlots to move cattle with limited desire to hold out.
Boxed beef prices Friday were mixed with choice up $0.76 and select down $0.81. For the week, April live cattle gained $2.85 with June up $2.60. April feeder cattle futures gained $1.65 with May up $2.40.