USDA Mandatory reported cattle trading was light in Nebraska and Iowa on Friday afternoon on moderate to good demand. Compared to last week early dressed sales were 2.00 to 3.00 higher at 205.00. However at midafternoon many feedlot managers were passing bids of 205.00 and holding out for 207.00 or better. Trading remained inactive in all other areas. Southern producers were asking 130.00 to 132.00 live. The weekly cattle kill was estimated at 519,000 head, 40,000 more than last week, and 42,000 less than last year.
Boxed beef cutout values were lower on moderate demand and moderate offerings. Choice beef was down .65 at 194.26, and select was 1.06 lower at 182.22.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 15 to 90 points lower on the lack of follow through buying support after Thursday’s triple digit gains. The market remained mixed much of the session but contracts faded due to the lack of new developments in the market and no additional buyers stepping up to the plate. There was some profit taking and bear spreading in the complex. February settled .90 lower at 132.95, and April was .55 lower at 136.77.
Feeder cattle settled 42 to 142 points higher despite the lack of support from the live pit. Lower corn values were supportive to feeder futures. January settled .82 higher at 153.17, and March was 1.42 higher at 156.32.
Feeder cattle receipts at Missouri auctions this week totaled 16,102 head. Compared to the last sales held two to three weeks ago, most reporters indicted a higher trend with few comparisons to be made on the statewide report. Optimism is certainly present for the cow-calf producer with limited supplies and buyers are ready to start filling some orders over the next few weeks. Supply was light with a limited number of auctions being held. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 728 lbs. brought 150.24 per hundredweight. 578 lb. heifers traded at an average of 147.92.
Lean hogs settled unchanged to 60 points lower after seeing moderate to strong support that developed in the morning across the lean hog futures market. Traders had expected to see light to moderate support in the cash market at the end of the week, however much of the direct trade was not reported due to confidentiality. The market turned lower from pressure surrounding the uncertainty of demand for pork. February settled .17 lower at 86.22, and April was down .32 at 89.85.
There was moderate market activity, with moderate demand in the hogs on Friday. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 1.96 higher at 84.06 on a carcass basis, the West was up 2.13 at 83.68, and the East was down .82 at 80.47. Barrows and gilts at the terminals closed steady from 51.50 to 56.00 live. The Missouri direct base carcass meat price was not reported on Friday.
Pork trading was moderate with light to moderate demand and offerings. Pork carcass cutout value was up .36 at 83.46.
The weekly hog slaughter was estimated at 1,975,000 head, 220,000 more than Christmas week and 89,000 less than last year.
Pork demand concerns and poor processing margins may reduce chain speed next week. The market looks to be weak to lower to start out the week.