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Cattle and hog futures close higher

Cattle country remained quiet on Wednesday afternoon with packer inquiry no better than light, There were a few bids according to private sources at 125.00 on the live basis and 199.00 to 200.00 dressed. Feedlot psychology seems to be on the mend thanks to the sharply higher futures and signs of improving beef demand. Asking prices remain at 128.00 to 129.00 in the South and 205.00 plus in the North.  The kill totaled 121,000 head, even with last week, but 9,000 greater than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were firm on moderate to good demand and moderate to heavy offerings. Choice beef was up .88 at 181.33, and select was .56 higher at 184.49.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 105 to 150 points higher after trading under pressure in the early trade. Traders stepped back into the market near midday despite the lack of movement in the grain complex. Sharp losses were seen in other outside markets which sparked both commercial and investment buyer interest back into the live cattle futures. Ideas of improving beef demand over the next 30 to 60 days were supportive. April settled 1.50 higher at 126.87 and June was up 1.37 at 121.82.

Feeder cattle were mostly higher with the exception of the April contract. The rally was led by the surge in live cattle futures. The combination of firmness in boxed beef values and potential cash market support kept the gains in the market solid. April was down .42 at 136.52, and May was up .85 at 140.90.

Philip Livestock Auction Philip, South Dakota had receipts of 1731 feeder cattle on Tuesday. No comparison on prices as the last sale reported was three weeks ago. There was moderate demand for several long strings and many packages of feeder steers and heifers which sold on an active market. Feeder steers medium and large 1 weighing 960 pounds averaged 121.75 per hundredweight. 719 heifers traded at 128.78.

Lean hogs settled 95 to 132 points in the black. The pressure in the financial and energy markets seemed to draw some moderate support back into the livestock markets. Stronger pork cutout values were also supportive to the market. May settled 1.32 higher at 88.12, and June was also up 1.32 at 90.35.

There was slow market activity with light demand in the cash hogs on Wednesday. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .61 lower at 78.72 on a carcass basis, the west was down .62 at 78.41, and the East was .27 higher at 74.26. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady to 1.00 lower from 71.00 to 77.00. Terminal hogs were steady to 1.00 lower on a live basis from 50.00 to 54.00.

Pork carcass cutout value was up 1.01 at 83.90 in the mandatory plant pork report. All cuts were higher except butts.

Packing plants reportedly have enough inventory to carry them through the week. Cash bids on Thursday are expected to be near steady.

Wednesday’s hog kill at 419,000 head is 24,000 more than last week and 1,000 greater than last year.

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