Cash cattle were lightly traded this week

The cash cattle trade was quiet on Friday afternoon with just a few more cattle traded in Nebraska at 195.00. That is about 3.00 lower than Wednesday and 8.00 lower than last week. In general, it was tough to find either willing buyer or willing seller and business was wrapped up for the week. USDA reported the weekly negotiated trade at only 61,648 head. The weekly kill at 615,000 head, is 9,000 less than the previous week and 4,000 less than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were sharply lower on light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings. Choice beef was down 2.36 at 189.84, and select was 1.75 lower at 182.61.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures settled 27 higher to 165 lower. The nearby futures remained under pressure and the spot February took the brunt of the pressure as the market tried to process just how the reality of one less major packing plant in the system will affect the overall market tone. Nearby futures appeared to be reaching an oversold situation which could create additional volatility early next week.  February settled 1.65 lower at 124.95, and the April contract was down 1.05 at 129.82.

Feeder cattle were mostly higher with the exception of spot month January. Traders focused on the lack of follow through pressure in the deferred months of live futures that appeared to draw additional buyer support into the market. January settled .50 lower at 143.90, and March was up .50 at 146.30.

Feeder cattle receipts at Missouri auctions this week totaled 37,348 head. Compared to last week, yearling steers and heifers sold steady to 5.00 lower. Steer and heifer calves were uneven from 4.00 lower to 5.00 higher, with most of the strength showing up on the lighter weight calves. Feeder steers, medium and large 1 weighing 500 to 600 pounds averaged 169.35 per hundredweight. 6 to 7 weight steers brought 153.76. 500 to 600 pound heifers averaged 148.07 and 6 to 7 weights at 140.47.

Lean hogs settled mostly unchanged to 20 points higher on very lackluster trade activity throughout the complex. The focus of activity was directed into the cattle market, which limited the amount of exposure and trade volume in both cash hogs and futures market on Friday. Most traders seemed willing to wait until next week before focusing on additional market shifts. February is down .60 at 85.35, and April was unchanged at 88.07.

There was slow market activity with light demand in the cash hog market on Friday. Iowa/Minnesota direct trade barrows and gilts closed .73 lower at 85.74 on a carcass basis, the West was down .65 at 85.61, and the East was .38 higher at 83.03. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady from 77.00 to 78.00. Terminal hogs on a live basis were steady with an instance of a 2.00 higher from 53.00 to 56.00.

Pork trading was moderate, with light to moderate demand and offerings. Pork carcass cutout value was down .25 at 83.63.

The weekly hog slaughter is estimated at 2,227,000 head, 57,000 less than the previous week, but 10,000 more than last year.

USDA will not be reporting prices on Monday and the Board of Trade and Mercantile Exchanges will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King JR Day.


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