A light cattle trade at higher prices

The cash cattle trade got off to a slow start this week and didn’t develop until midday on Friday. USDA Mandatory reported live sales in the South were 1.00 higher at 125.00. There were some dressed sales in Kansas at 197.50. Nebraska lives sales were 1.00 to 1.50 higher at 125.00 to 125.50. There was a light to moderate trade in Iowa with live sales 1.00 to 2.00 higher from 122.00 to 124.00, and dressed sales were 3.00 higher at 193.00 in the North. The weekly cattle slaughter is estimated at 628,000 head, 8,000 more than the previous week, but 22,000 less than 2011.

Boxed beef cutout values were firm on the choice and weak on select on light demand and offerings. Choice boxed beef was up .36 at 191.67, and select was down .28 at 177.04.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 35 to 70 points lower. Futures were pressured most of the session as a portion of the noncommercial or investment buyer support that jumped into the market Thursday liquidated along with traders in the grain market due to the reversal of grain market prices. October settled .70 lower at 123.90 and December was down .42 at 125.50.

Feeder cattle ended the session 42 higher to 22 lower. The pullback in corn prices helped to draw a light trade back into the feeder cattle market in an extremely light trade. Most traders appeared to be comfortable on the sidelines if they even stuck around for th3e end of the session on Friday according to DTN. October settled .36 higher at 143.10, and November was up .42 at 144.22.

Feeder cattle receipts at Missouri auctions this week totaled 23,509 head. Compared to last week, feeder steers and heifers sold unevenly steady, from 5.00 lower to 5.00 higher, except yearling heifers over 800 lbs. 5 to 10.00 higher. Holstein steers were 2.00 to 10.00 higher. Yearling feeders are considered in short supply as they are trickling into sale barns rather than pouring in by the load, the way buyers would like.  813 feeder steers medium and large 1 weighing 524 lbs. averaged 161.11 per hundredweight, 291 steers weighing 728 averaged 147.49. 400 heifers with an average weight of 520 lbs. brought 144.37, and 96 heifers weighing 727 averaged 134.00.

Lean hogs settled .89 points higher to 50 lower. Although the mixed prices were seen throughout the complex indicating uncertainty in the market with moderate nearby gains offsetting the deferred pressure, very little activity was seen with prices essentially at a standstill through most of the complex. October was .42 higher at 82.75, and December was up .87 at 78.37.

There was moderate market activity with moderate demand in the hog market on Friday. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 1.15 higher at 82.01 on a carcass basis, the West was up 1.03 at 81.68, and the East was down .33 at 80.66. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady from 77.00 to 78.00. Terminal hogs were fully steady from 52.00 to 58.00 live.

The weekly hog slaughter was estimated at 2,396,000 head 41,000 more than last week, and 76,000 head greater than a year ago.

Pork trading was slow, with light to moderate demand and mostly steady offerings. Pork carcass cutout value was down .66 at 87.03.

Pork’s updated Supply and Demand table released Thursday looks helpful. While exports are unchanged for 2012, they were raised slightly on expected late 2013 improvements in sales. Imports are reduced slightly for 2013.

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