Cattle country is slow to start on Wednesday with only a few bids on the table at 121.00 in the South and 195.00 plus in the North. Asking prices are around 126.00 plus in the South and 198.00 plus in the North. Carcass value has trended higher this week and packer margins have improved. But much will depend on their ability to control live costs. Feedlot operators are encouraged by higher futures yesterday.
Choice boxed beef in the morning report is down .16 at 196.01, and the select is .55 higher at 175.22.
Loup City Livestock Auction, Loup City, Nebraska had receipts of 2200 cattle on Tuesday. Compared to two weeks ago, steers weighing less than 550 lbs. sold 10.00 to 20.00 higher, over 550 lbs. sold steady to 5.00 higher. Heifers were 2.00 to 5.00 higher. Demand was good from start to finish from a large crowd of buyers. The majority of the sale consisted of top quality home raised calves; most were weaned with all shots. Feeder steers, medium and large 1 averaging 573 lbs. traded at 160.74 per hundredweight. 574 lb. heifers averaged 149.50.
Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota and Western direct trade are not reported due to confidentiality. Eastern markets are 1.31 lower at 77.14, and nationally the market is down 1.25 at 76.89 weighted average on a carcass basis. Missouri direct base carcass meat price is 1.00 lower from 71.00 to 77.00. Terminal hogs are fully steady from 50.00 to 56.00 on a live basis.
It sounds as if pork processors are cutting Saturday kill plans back to 150,000 head, the smallest effort seen in months. Perhaps packers still don’t trust late year product demand.