Cattle country was quiet on Friday morning after Thursday’s round of moderate cash business. Most live sales were at 124.00, 1.00 higher than last week. Business was especially decent in the South. The Northern market was slower to develop and dressed sales there were no better than steady from 190.00 to 191.00. Steers and heifers remaining on the showlists are priced around 125.00 live and 193.00 plus dressed. We could see some light clean-up action here and there today, but the suspicion is most trading is complete for the week. Packer margins continue to deteriorate, and until profit potential improves they probably prefer to remain short bought.
Boxed beef cutout values are lower with the choice down 1.11 at 190.24, and select is 1.27 lower at 175.82.
Feeder cattle receipts at Missouri auctions totaled 28,080 head this week. Compared to last week, the feeder market was once again very uneven as calves sold from 5.00 lower to 3.00 higher. Yearlings were mostly steady with spots of 2.00 higher. Some markets that posted double digit losses last week last week on feather weights managed to put most of that back on this week. Supply was moderate and demand was good to very good for cattle of the right type which at the very least includes a health program and a good dose of perceived quality. Feeder steers medium and large 1 weighing 523 lbs. averaged 161.05 per hundredweight. Heifers weighing 522 lbs. brought 144.14.
Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade opened 1.94 lower at 75.51 on a carcass basis, the West is down 1.69 also at 76.51, and the East is 3.22 lower at 76.39. Missouri direct base carcass meat price is steady from 70.00 to 72.00. Terminal hogs are lightly tested at steady prices from 50.00 to 54.00 live.
The reality of impressive processing margins continues to cause Saturday kill plans to grow larger and larger. Tomorrow’s hog slaughter is now expected to total close to 195,000 head.