With the exception of a few bids in the South at 121.00, the cash cattle market remained quiet on Wednesday. We could see more bids surface on Thursday, but significant trade volume will probably be postponed until Friday. Asking prices are around 125.00 to 126.00 in the South, and 202.00 plus in the North. The kill totaled 124,000 head, 1,000 more than both last week and last year.
Boxed beef cutout values were steady to weak on light to moderate demand and offerings. Choice boxed beef was down .14 at 195.46 and select was .38 lower at 184.44.
Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile exchange settled 10 to 40 points lower with only August higher. The trade remained under pressure with no support coming from boxed beef values as well as sloppy outside market direction. Long liquidation and over selling from the lean hog pit were market factors. August settled .30 higher at 124.15, and October was .17 lower at 127.97.
Feeder cattle settled 40 to 85 points lower with the exception of August finishing higher. Pressure came from the higher prices in the grain futures trade. The trade remained light throughout the session. August settled .17 higher at 155.57, and September was down .55 at 157.70.
Cattle receipts at the Ozarks Regional Stockyards at West Plains, Missouri totaled 2900 head. Compared to last week, steers weighing 400 to 850 pounds trended 2.00 to 4.00 higher, with spots of 4.00 to 6.00 higher on longtime weaned, thin condition or empty. Heifers weighing less than 500 pounds and weights over 650 were 2.00 to 5.00 higher, 550 to 650 pounds steady to 2.00 lower with the full decline of 6 to 650 pounds. The supply was moderate with some nice bunches of calves, and a couple of loads of higher quality yearlings, Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 768 pounds brought 155.34 per hundredweight. 575 pound replacement heifers traded at 163.94.
Lean hogs settled 5 to 112 points lower. Sharp losses developed through the lean hog futures on Wednesday with traders focusing on potential supply growth. The triple digit losses in the nearby contracts were likely the result of increased hog weights, larger slaughter numbers and lower cash values. October was down 1.12 at 85.25, and December was also 1.12 lower at 82.62.
There was a moderate to active hog market on Wednesday with moderate demand. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 1.09 lower at 92.30 weighted averages on a carcass basis, the West was down 1.14 at 92.16, and the East was .97 lower at 91.82. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady from 90.00 to 92.00. Terminal hogs were 1.00 to 3.00 lower on a live basis from 60.00 to 69.00.
Pork carcass value was sharply lower, down 2.26 FOB plant at 99.57 on a negotiated basis.
Weekly hog kills should continue to increase from this point through the fall, with some market analysts anticipating the top chain speed of 2.3 million head as early as mid-September.
Wednesday’s hog kill at 430,000 head was 6,000 more than last week, and 3,000 greater than last year. The weekly slaughter is now running 22,000 head more than last week.
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