Feedlot country was generally quiet on Thursday. DTN reported a few pens sold in the North at 195.00, generally steady with last week. But such business appeared to be on a selective basis with bids of 191.00 to 192.00 common around the area. Generally speaking asking prices remain firm at 193.00 to 195.00. Significant trade volume in the North may not develop until Friday. Business in the South is quiet and probably done for the week. The slaughter totaled 126,000 head, 2,000 below last week and 4,000 smaller than a year ago.
Boxed beef cutout values were steady to weak on light to moderate demand and offerings. Choice boxed beef was up .19 at 195.56 and select was down .91 at 186.44.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 7 to 40 points higher on Thursday. The market seesawed back and forth from moderate gains to moderate losses, then back again. The movement across the complex was very uneven compared to a normal trading day. Traders continued to watch the cash cattle trade and boxed beef values and movement for direction. June settled .07 higher at 117.87, and August was .30 higher at 119.80.
Feeder cattle settled 62 points higher to 20 lower and activity levels were extremely light. Lower corn futures lent some support to the August through November contracts. May futures expired at 152.40 down .02 and August was up .37 at 158.85.
Feeder cattle receipts at the Hub City Livestock Auction at Aberdeen, SD totaled 5402 head on Wednesday. Compared to last week, feeder cattle sold mostly steady. It was an active market with good demand. 334 feeder steers averaging 925 lbs. averaged 143.11 per hundredweight. 255 replacement heifers weighing 914 lbs. brought 131.87.
Lean hogs settled mixed, from 47 higher to 22 points lower. Trade seemed to be all over the board as traders focused on the direction of the outside markets as well as potential pressure in the wholesale and cash prices. Trade was extremely light for much of the session. June hogs settled .22 lower at 84.20, and July was up .47 at 86.02.
There was slow market activity with light demand in the hogs on Thursday. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 1.19 lower at 81.59 on a carcass basis, the West was down .55 at 82.33, and the East was down .20 at 80.30. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady from 77.00 to 81.00.Termnal hogs were steady to .50 lower from 54.50 to 56.50.
Pork trading was slow, with light to moderate demand and mostly moderate offerings. Pork carcass cutout value was down .44 at 78.20.
For the week ending May 19, Iowa barrows and gilts averaged 276.1 pounds, 0.4 lighter than the previous week (but still 5.2 pounds bigger than 2011). The weight drop was modest, but at least it was in the right direction.
Thursday’s hog kill at 415,000 head is 5,000 more than last week, and 7,000 greater than last year. The Saturday slaughter is expected to be around 10,000 head.