Market News

A few cattle sell at steady prices

A few pens of cattle sold in Nebraska at 195.00, generally steady with last week. DTN has learned that one regional buyer in the North bid up to 196.00 on better grading cattle. Elsewhere the cash market remains at a standstill with bids and asking prices poorly defined. Some producers have priced their showlists around 128.00 plus in the South and 195.00 plus in the North. Significant trade may not develop until after the release of the cattle on feed report Friday afternoon. The cattle kill totaled 128,000 head, even with last week and a year ago.

Boxed beef cutout values were weak to lower on light to moderate demand and moderate offerings. Choice boxed beef was down .29 at 192.93, and select was down 1.17 at 173.13.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts trade mixed for much of the session but closed 17 to 60 points higher as the market focused on the pressure in the grain markets. Traders looked for increased fundamental market direction, but for the most part three was not a lot of market changing news that developed before the close. Short covering was the main market feature.  December settled .17 higher at 125.60, and February was up .25 at 129.37.

Feeder cattle ended the session 20 to 37 higher following the light support in the live cattle futures and lower corn futures values. For the most part traders treaded water at this point in the week, limiting overall price direction to narrow trading ranges through the end of the week.  November settled .20 higher at 143.40, and January was up .27 at 145.15.

Hub City Livestock Auction, Aberdeen, SD had feeder cattle receipts of 7609 head on Wednesday. Steer and heifer calves sold unevenly steady, yearlings were 2.00 to 4.00 higher. There was an active market with good demand. Feeder steers, medium and large 1 weighing 531 lbs. traded at 160.57 per hundredweight. 531 lb. heifers brought 145.65.

Lean hogs ended the session 15 points higher to 25 lower as prices bounced on one side and the other of unchanged due to lack of direction in the market. Traders backed away from marrows gains based on the pressure in the cash market. Trade volume remained sluggish for much of the session. December settled .02 lower at 80.07, and February was up .10 at 86.15.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 1.50 lower at 74.38 on a carcass basis, the west was down 1.51 at 74.37, and the East was .37 lower at 74.04. Missouri direct base carcass meat price ended steady from 70.00 to 76.00. Terminal hogs were fully steady from 50.00 to 55.00 on a live basis.

Pork trading was slow with light demand and mostly moderate offerings. Pork carcass cutout value was down .27 at 81.30.

The pre-Thanksgiving pork trade is really coming unhinged. Led by a $5 drop in 14- to 16-pound bellies, carcass value collapsed on Wednesday by $2.55. Wholesale buyers will remain very cautious through the balance of the week.

Thursday’s hog slaughter was estimated at 434,000 head, the same as last week, but 5,000 greater than 2011.

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