Cash cattle business picked up in the North on Thursday afternoon, but at lower money than last week. Packer bids have softened further in the face of the struggling futures market. Most dressed deals in Nebraska were marked at 191.00, 4.00 to 5.00 lower than last week’s weighted average. Some Iowa cattle sold at 120.50 live and 190.00 to 193.00 dressed. Kansas and Texas cattle traded from 118.00 to 119.00. Assuming that trade volume will continue to trickle in this afternoon it is likely business is essentially done for the week. The kill totaled 127,000 head, 3,000 below last week and 4,000 smaller than a year ago.
Boxed beef cutout values were steady to firm on moderate demand and offerings on Thursday afternoon. Choice beef ended .41 higher at 198.17, and select was down .07 at 181.96.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 75 to 250 points lower with the most severe losses coming in the far deferred contracts. Futures were pressured by the lower cash cattle market prices as well as a lack of support from commercial buyer activity on the board. Some nearby contracts saw significant pressure due to concerns overall longer term beef supplies may be growing. June settled .75 lower at 116.25 and August was down .95 at 117.02.
Feeder cattle settled 110 to 215 points lower in a sluggish trade. Lower live cattle futures and higher corm prices quickly eroded any budding interest that would have developed through the nearby contracts. August was 2.15 lower at 156.20, and September settled at 157.50 down 2.00.
Feeder cattle receipts at the Hub City Livestock Auction at Aberdeen, SD totaled 4189 head on Wednesday. Compared to last week, yearling steers and heifers sold steady. It was an active market with good demand and there were several large consignments available. 799 feeder steers, medium and large 1 averaging 961 lbs. brought 137.99 per hundredweight. 371 heifers averaging 821 lbs. averaged 144.34.
Lean hogs were mixed from 100 points higher to .47 lower. The gains came in the July and August contracts as traders rolled out of the expiring June contract. The strength in the nearby contracts helped to draw additional attention from noncommercial traders. The stronger pork values continued to lend support to lean hog futures. June expired at noon at 94.32 up .77, July was .57 higher at 94.52, and August settled at 92.50 up 1.00.
Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .31 higher at 96.44 on a carcass basis, the west was up .48 at 96.17, and the East was .60 higher at 91.42. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady at 83. Terminal hogs were steady to 1.00 higher live from 59.00 to 60.50.
Pork trading was slow to moderate, with light to moderate demand and light offerings. Pork carcass cutout value was 2.35 higher at 91.58.
Although Iowa barrows and gilts lost a half pound last week, the average fell from 274.9 pounds to 274.4 pounds. Live weights continue to tower over 2011 up 5.8 lbs. as well as the three year average up 5.9 pounds.
Thursday’s hog kill was 398,000 head, 3,000 more than last week, but 8,000 less than a year ago.
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