Feedlot cattle prices trend higher

USDA Mandatory reported cattle trading was light in the Southern Plains Friday afternoon on moderate demand. Compared to last week, live sales sold mostly 2.00 higher at 139.00. Trading was light to moderate in Iowa on light to moderate demand. Compared to last week, live sales were 2.00 higher at 138.00 to 139.00. Trading was very light in Nebraska on moderate demand with a few live sales at 139.00 to 140.00 and dressed sales at 222.00. The weekly cattle slaughter was estimated at 569,000 head, 48,000 greater than last week, but 57,000 less than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were sharply higher on moderate demand and light offerings. Choice beef was up 2.93 at 214.98 and select was up 2.53 at 211.58.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 15 points higher to 15 lower. The moderate to firm support seen through much of the morning quickly eroded following the higher corn prices and tighter than expected corn stocks. Contracts ended mixed as traders did not totally desert the market given the recent aggressive support in market fundamentals over the last week. Boxed beef cutout values were significantly higher again at midday. February settled .15 higher at 136.70, and April was up .10 at 136.97.

Feeder cattle ended the session 50 to 117 lower on the firmness through both the corn and soybean futures following the USDA supply and demand report. Traders quickly repositioned contracts. Additional pressure developed through the end of the session, allowing for uncertainty about longer term market direction over the coming weeks. January feeders settled .50 lower at 168.65, and March was down 1.17 at 167.65.

Feeder cattle receipts at Missouri Auctions this week totaled 26.107 head. Compared to last week, feeders weighing less than 700 pounds sold 5.00 to 10.00 higher and those over 700 pounds were steady to 5.00 higher. Several locations remained dark for a third week following the holiday break. 1095 feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 574 pounds traded at 196.56 per hundredweight. 1530 head o 670 pound steers brought 182.02. 624 feeder Heifers averaging 524 pounds averaged 179.67. 611 heifers with an average weight of 674 pounds traded at 163.86.

Lean hogs settled 12 to 60 points higher. The forming support in grain prices following the lower than expected corn stocks and production helped to draw additional buyer interest into nearby futures. Lower pork values in the morning report weighed on futures. February settled .57 higher at 85.82, and April was up .27 at 96.00.

There was slow hog market activity with light demand on Friday afternoon. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 2.17 lower at 76.08 on a carcass basis, the West was down 1.26 at 78.27, and the East was .92 lower at 76.54. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady from 73.00 to 75.00. Terminal hogs were generally steady from 51.00 to 56.00.

The number of new PEDv cases increased by 134 for the week of Dec. 29, bringing total reported cases to 2,084, according to the USDA’s National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN). California and Wyoming are the latest U.S. states to report confirmed cases of the deadly pig virus, bringing the number of states affected to 22.

The pork carcass value was .59 lower at 84.05 FOB plant on a negotiated basis.

The weekly hog slaughter was estimated at 2,102,000 head, 111,000 more than last week, but 166,000 less than last year.

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