Slaughter cattle on a live basis traded 2.00 to 3.00 higher on Friday from 122.00 to 123.50. Dressed sales in the North were 1.00 to 2.00 higher for the week from 188.00 to 190.00. Packers tried to hold prices back as beef values are on the decline in the week’s trade. Slaughter cattle on a national basis for negotiated cash trade totaled about 83,000 head through Friday morning. Last week’s total head count was 101,534. The weekly cattle slaughter at 641,000 head was 12,000 smaller than the previous week, and down 22,000 from 2011.
Boxed beef cutout values were weak to lower on light demand and moderate offerings. Choice boxed beef was down 1.21 at 189.62, and select was .57 lower at 179.46.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 52 points higher to 1.57 lower. Early buying interest in the live cattle contracts quickly faded as the session progressed. There were sharp early gains in the market but ended with a mixed trade as positioning took place ahead of the long holiday weekend. August cattle expired at noon at 118.07down 157.00, October was .52 higher at 126.02, and December ended the session .20 higher at 128.62.
Feeder cattle settled 87 to 130 points in the black in a lightly traded session although the pressure in the grain complex and early support in live cattle futures helped to push prices moderately higher. Volume remained sluggish as most traders exited the market until after the long weekend. September feeders settled 1.30 higher at 144.60, and October was up 1.77 at 146.67.
The Missouri weekly weighted feeder cattle report shows 34,880 head at auctions last week. Early in the week in some of the most severely and prolonged drought stricken areas, a few reporters did note uneven markets attributed mostly to quality and condition concerns. This week’s supply was moderate to heavy with steers outnumbering heifers by a larger than typical percentage. 823 feeder steers medium and large 1 weighing 528 lbs. traded at 157.98 per hundredweight. 895 head weighing 826 averaged 139.34. 450 heifers weighing 522 lbs. sold at an average of 141.97, and 368 heifers at 771 lbs. brought 130.16.
Lean hogs settled 60 points higher to 27 lower. Lean contracts experienced continued fundamental pressure although they did recover from the sharp early losses and settled near the highs for the day. The cash hog and pork markets offered no support to the market and trade remained sluggish ahead of the weekend. October settled .02 higher at 74.17, and December was up .60 at 72.40.
There was slow to moderate market activity and demand in the cash hog markets on Friday. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 1.25 lower at 72.20 on a carcass basis, the West was down 2.28 at 71.19 and the East was 2.55 lower at 70.84. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady from 68.00 to 72.00 in a very light test. Terminal hogs were fully steady from 47.00 to 52.00.
Pork trading was slow, with light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings. The pork carcass cutout value was down .12 at 81.48.
The weekly hog slaughter was large at 2,282,000 head, 17,000 more than last week, and 146,000 greater than last year.
The combination of light country receipts and aggressive chain speed plans next week could work to significantly stabilize the cash hog trade when business resumes on Tuesday.