Cattle buying interest was light on Wednesday with just a few bids reported in Kansas at 113.00. Asking prices are around 118.00 plus in the South and 185.00 plus in the North. While some packers appear to be short bought, processing margins remain unattractive. Significant trade could be delayed until Friday. The kill totaled 128,000 head, 1,000 below last week, but even with a year ago.
Boxed beef cutout values were steady to weak on light to moderate demand and offerings. Choice boxed beef was down .13 at 177.69, and select was .26 lower at 170.83.
Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 5 to 95 points lower with only spot August in the black. Trade volume was quite slow as traders waited for significant cash news to develop. Light bull spreading appeared to be a feature of Wednesday’s futures trade. August settled .12 higher at 119.00, but October was down .32 at 124.07.
Feeder cattle ended the session 22 to 200 points higher, supported by short covering and significant losses in the corn market. August settled at 139.77 up 1.15, and September was .75 higher at 141.12.
Feeder cattle receipts at the Philip Livestock Auction at Philip, South Dakota totaled 5372 head on Tuesday. There have been no recent reports for a price comparison. Many long strings of steers and heifers and packages of tested open heifers sold on an active market with very good demand. 406 head of feeder steers, medium and large 1 weighing 920 lbs. averaged 130.29 per hundredweight. 599 heifers with an average weight of 780 lbs. brought 131.94.
Lean hogs settled mostly lower with the exception of the spot August contract. The futures were pressured by profit-taking and ongoing views of bearish fundamentals through the end of the year. August settled .25 higher at 93.20, a d October was down .57 at 79.92.
There was slow hog market activity with light demand on Wednesday. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 1.14 lower at 91.49 on a carcass basis, the West was down 1.46 at 91.92, and the East was up .50 at 85.50. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady to 2.00 lower at 85.00. Terminal hogs were steady with an instance of 2.00 higher from 55.00 to 60.00 live.
Pork trading was moderate with light demand and mostly moderate offerings for retail. Pork carcass cutout value was up 2.12 at 94.03.
DTN reports, while aggressive sow liquidation has negative short-term consequences in terms of additional tonnage, its long-term implications look increasingly bullish with fewer pigs destined to be pulled in 2013.
Wednesday’s hog slaughter at 409,000 head is 7,000 greater than last week, and 4,000 more than a year ago.