Compared to the previous week slaughter cattle traded 2.00 lower on a live basis from 121.00 to 122.00, and dressed sales were 1.00 lower at 194.00 with a few at 195.00.Slaughter rates remain fairly strong though still less than a year ago, however slaughter weights are well above last year. Buyers and sellers will be very eager to learn of Memorial Day meat clearance when trade resumes on Tuesday. Cattle slaughter for the week at 636,000 head is 5,000 under the previous week and 38,000 less than 2011.
Boxed beef cutout values were lower on light to moderate demand and moderate offerings. Choice boxed beef was down .93 at 194.63, and select was 1.38 lower at 185.36.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 25 to 70 points lower on Friday. Although the market started out on an aggressive note, most of the support eroded by midday. Most traders seemed to have backed out of the market as they head home for the long holiday weekend. June settled .22 lower at 117.65, and August was .70 lower at 119.10.
Feeder cattle ended the session 30 to 62 points in the red and were stuck in a very lightly traded market with most traders’ content to hold positions well into to next week. Overall trade volume remained quiet. August settled .35 lower at 158.50 and September was down .62 at 159.47.
Feeder cattle receipts at Missouri auctions this past week totaled 26,119 head. Compared to the previous week, steers weighing less than 700 lbs. were unevenly steady to 3.00 higher, steers over 700 lbs. sold 2.00 to 4.00 higher. Heifers less than 700 lbs. were unevenly steady to 4.00 lower with heifers over 700 lbs. steady to 2.00 higher. The supply was moderate with a fairly large portion made up of steer calves weighing less than 650 lbs. Overall demand for feeders was moderate, although buyers showed much favor for those with less flesh and the ability to put on pounds in a hurry. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 525 lbs. average 185.57 per hundredweight. 521 lb. heifers brought 163.73.
Lean hogs settled 100 points higher to 27 lower. The June through October contracts held up surprisingly well given the lack of direction from fundamentals. Traders squared positions in front of the long weekend. Deferred futures traded lower based on uncertain long term demand. June was up 1.00 at 85.20, and July was .55 higher at 86.57.
There was moderate market activity on moderate demand in the hogs on Friday. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 1.12 higher at 82.68 on a carcass basis, the West was up .11 at 82.50, and the East was up .09 at 80.52. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady from 77.00 to 78.00. Terminals hogs were steady to .50 lower from 54.00 to 56.00 live in a light test.
Pork trading was slow with light to moderate demand and offerings. Pork carcass cutout value was down .23 at 77.97.
The weekly hog kill totaled 2,069,000 head, 44,000 less than last week, but 24,000 more than last year. Saturday’s slaughter was only 10,000 head. Lower wholesale pork prices this past week and demand concerns after the holiday will have hog buyers returning with a cautious buying attitude on Tuesday.