The cash cattle trade was at a standstill on Friday afternoon with business apparently completed for the week. Live cattle traded 2.00 to 3.00 lower from 155.00 to 156.00 and dressed business was 1.00 to 4.00 lower from 246.00 to 249. Between this week’s smaller kill and limited trade volume totals of 44, 600 head through Friday morning. We could see feedlot managers carry over a good number of cattle into next week, especially in the South. The weekly kill was estimated at 576,000 head, 85,000 less than the previous week, and 65,000 fewer than last year.
Boxed beef cutout values were weak on the choice and higher on select with light to moderate demand and offerings. Choice boxed beef was down .38 at 251.79, and select was 1.32 higher at 244.84.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled unchanged to 97 points higher after trading moderately lower for much of the session on spillover selling interest and technical selling, for the most part the premium status of recent feedlot sales just didn’t seem to lend the board much support. Prices turned higher after the release of the grains report. August settled .97 higher at 149.12, and October was up .92 at 151.65.
Feeder contracts had traded sharply lower for much of the session with the deferred contracts limit down. But feeders ended off the day lows on lower grain prices. August settled .22 lower at 210.37 and September was down .57 at 211.62.
Feeder cattle receipts at Missouri Auctions this week totaled 18,313 head. Compared to last week, feeder steers sold steady to 4.00 lower and heifers were 3.00 to 5.00 lower. Most local auction barns are back in the swing of things after last week’s holiday. Feeder steers medium and large 1 weighing 668 pounds averaged 234.96 per hundredweight. 677 pound heifers brought 217.61.
Lean hogs settled unchanged to .85 higher. The lean pit saw uneven action with August and October moderately higher, possibly supported by short covering and light bull spreading. Gains were limited in the deferred contracts on ideas that cheaper feed costs will eventually lead to larger commercial production. July settled unchanged at 132.80 and August was up .72 at 128.67.
Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 1.54 higher with a weighted average of 131.28 on a carcass basis, the West was up 1.31 at 130.93, and the East was 1.00 lower at 129.01. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady from 120.00 to 122.00. Midwest hogs were steady from 86.00 to 92.00 live.
The pork carcass cutout value was .57 higher at 135.33 FOB plant. All primal cuts were higher with the exception of bellies and butts.
Gasoline prices could fall up to 25 cents a gallon in parts of the U.S. within the next two weeks, thanks to slumping crude oil prices, weakening demand and robust supplies. This could put more meat-spending potential in consumer budgets.
The weekly hog slaughter was estimated at 1,859,000 head, 232,000 more than the holiday shortened week, but 183,000 less than last year.