USDA Mandatory reported cattle trading in the Southern Plains was moderate on moderate demand on Thursday afternoon. Compared to last week, the market trended 1.00 higher at 124.00. An Isolated trade in Kansas was reported at 124.50. There was limited trading in Nebraska with a few sales going out of state at 124.00. Trading was light on moderate demand in Iowa. A few early trades there were steady at 122.00 live and 192.00 dressed. The cattle kill was estimated at 120,000 head, 9,000 less than last week, and down 11,000 from last year.
Boxed beef cutout values were firm on the choice, weak on select with light to moderate demand and offerings. Choice beef was up .65 at 191.35, and select was down .44 at 177.09.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 17 to 75 points lower. Despite the fact nearby cattle futures were under pressure much of the morning session the talk of higher cash prices and strong support from the nearby lean hog futures brought buying back to the table but ended lower due to gains in the grain complex. October settled .75 lower at 122.32, and December ended down .32 at 125.70.
Feeder cattle contracts ended the day 82 to 107 points in the red on higher grain prices. October settled .82 lower at 144.47, and November was down .97 at 145.82.
Feeder cattle receipts at the Huss Platte Valley Auction in Nebraska totaled 1435 head on Wednesday. Compared to last week, steer and heifer calves sold mostly steady. There were not enough yearling feeders for an adequate market trend. Most calves had precondition shots and some were weaned. Feeder steers, medium and large 1 weighing 630 lbs. averaged 153.90. 581 lb. heifers brought 142.52 per hundredweight.
Lean hogs ended the session 177 points higher to 67 lower with the spot month holding on to triple digit gains on support from the fundamental side of the market earlier in the week. Support in the complex was seen through the February 2013 contract months, deferred contracts experienced moderate losses based on the bounce higher in the grain markets. October settled 1.77 higher at 81.80, and December was up .17 at 76.05.
There was slow to moderate market activity with light to moderate demand in the hogs on Thursday. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 1.29 lower at 78.52 on a carcass basis, the West was down 1.39 at 78.21, and the East was 1.24 higher at 75.76. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady from 70.00 to 73.00. Terminal hogs were steady to 1.00 higher from 50.00 to 54.00.
Pork trading was slow, with moderate demand and mostly light offerings. Pork carcass cutout value was up 1.84 at 84.95.
Iowa market hog weights last week averaged 269.2 pounds, 1 pound below the previous week and 1.3 pounds lighter than 2011. This represents the first scale ticket under the previous year since mid-November 2011.
Thursday’s hog slaughter was estimated at 431,000 head, 3,000 less than last week, but 3,000 more than last year.