Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were mixed, with nearbys up on good cash business and deferreds down on the lower trade in corn. That lower trade in corn and expected increase in feed supply supported feeder cattle futures. Boxed beef was weak to lower, with Choice down $1.40 at $201.16 and Select $.08 lower at $188.44. The estimated cattle slaughter of 110,000 head was up 2,000 on the week, but down 4,000 on the year. By Friday afternoon, there was light to moderate cattle trade at $131 to $132 on the live basis. Bids on the dressed basis were $206 to $207, with asking prices of $208 to $209.
Lean hog futures were mostly, modestly higher, seeing a bit of a bounce after the recent losses. Still, the market’s looking at a lot of tonnage on the wholesale market and heavy hog weights, even with the recent slowdown in the slaughter pace, relatively high cutout value, and solid processing margins. The Eastern Cornbelt barrows and gilts were down $.61 at $79.72, the Western Belt was $.44 lower at $79.50, and Iowa/Southern Minnesota was down $.40 at $79.58. Butcher hogs at the terminals were steady with tops at $54 to $62. The cutout value was $2 lower at $91.97. The estimated slaughter of 432,000 head was up 1,000 on the week and 3,000 on the year.
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