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Cash cattle finally trade on Friday

Feedlot cattle trading turned moderately active Friday afternoon with short bought packers generally agreeing to pay more than they did last week. USDA Mandatory reported a light trade in the Texas Panhandle on moderate demand. Compared to last week live sales were mostly 1.00 higher at 120.00. Trading was moderate to active in Kansas on moderate to good demand; live sales were mostly steady at 120.00. Trading was moderate in Nebraska on moderate to good demand, with dressed sales steady to firm at mostly 194.00. Live sales in the North were mostly at 122.00. The weekly slaughter at 623,000 head was 12,000 more than the previous week but 36,000 less than 2011.

Boxed beef cutout values were weak on light to moderate demand and offerings. Choice beef was down .67 at 190.29, and select was .79 lower at 186.11.

Live cattle contracts settled 05 to 50 points lower on the Chicago Mercantile exchange on Friday.  Traders focused on both end of the week profit taking following the surge in prices on Thursday as well as getting caught up in the widespread outside market pressure seen across the complex. Traders were also concerned about the lack of development in the cash cattle trade.  June settled .50 lower at 115.37, and August was down .05 at 118.50.

Feeder cattle ended the session mostly higher with only May in the red. Although the widespread pressure in nearly all markets was evident, it appeared the pressure in the grain markets offset the weaker live cattle markets. May settled .07 lower at 152.55, and August was up .87 at 158.10.

Feeder cattle receipts at Missouri auctions this week totaled 24,140 head. Compared to last week, feeder steers sold steady to 3.00 higher, feeder heifers were steady to 2.00 higher. Locally markets were quite mixed with several reporters noting spots from 10.00 lower to 10.00 higher. Feeder steers medium and large 1 weighing 500 to 600 lbs. averaged 181.19 per hundredweight, 6 to 7 weights at 1675.89. 500 to 600 lb. heifers brought 161.30, and 6 to 7 weights traded at 147.89.

Lean hogs settled 10 to 150 points lower on Friday. Just as it appeared lean hog futures may be able to find its footing with moderate gains on Thursday, another tidal wave of outside market pressure sent the lean hog market gasping for breathe once again. Even the light support in the morning cash hog market was unable to create stability in the lean hog complex.  The big question is how much lower can prices move before additional interest redevelops in in the hog market.  May settled 1.50 lower at 79.80, and June was down 1.20 at 83.72.

There was slow market activity with light demand in the hogs on Friday. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .29 lower at 76.59 on a carcass basis, the West was down .28 at 76.63, and the East was .70 lower at 74.62. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady from 74.00 to 75.00. Terminal hogs were .50 to lower to 1.00 higher from 50.50 to 53.00 live.

Pork trading was slow with light to moderate demand and light to moderate offerings. Pork carcass cutout value was up .76 at 78.86.

The weekly hog kill was estimated at 2,069,000 head 23,000 less than last week, but 102,000 more than last year. The Saturday kill was estimated at only 29,000 head. Although weekly hog kills this spring have remained larger than expected, historical odds remain good that weekly slaughter in May will eventually average 3% to 5% below April, and that June will average the same below May. 


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