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Cattle futures up, hogs down on cash business

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were higher, supported by the week’s direct cash business, spillover from feeders, and a lack of new selling interest. August was $.37 higher at $117.80 and October was up $.75 at $118.57.

Feeder cattle were higher on short covering and a lack of selling interest. August was up $1.25 at $154.27 and September was $1.10 higher at $154.07.

Direct cash cattle markets were quiet Friday, with business wrapped up earlier in the week. Most of Thursday’s moderate business was at $190 dressed in the North, up $2 from last week’s weighted average in Nebraska, with a few sales mainly at $120 live in the South, also up $2 on the week and steady with the top end of Wednesday’s range. Following that moderate business on Wednesday and Thursday, showlists this coming week are expected to be priced higher.

Boxed beef closed lower on light to moderate demand for heavy offerings. Choice was down $.50 at $209.35 and Select was $1.84 lower at $195.42. The estimated cattle slaughter of 118,000 head was 2,000 less than last week, but 11,000 more than last year.

In Missouri, compared to two weeks ago, feeder steers and heifers were unevenly steady to $5 lower. The USDA says supply was light to moderate and probably impacted by hot temperatures. Demand was moderate. 700 to 800 pound feeder steers sold at $132.50 to $167.75 and 800 to 890 pounders brought $123 to $162.50. 500 to 600 pound feeder heifers were reported at $129 to $162 with 600 to 700 pound heifers at $125 to $162.50.

The USDA says hay movement in Missouri was light this week, with steady prices and light demand for moderate supplies. Supreme quality alfalfa ranged from $170 to $220 with premium at $150 to $180 and good quality at $120 to $160. Good quality mixed grass hay brought $75 to $100 with fair to good quality at $50 to $80. In Nebraska, alfalfa rounds and squares, grass hay, ground and delivered hay, and dehydrated pellets were all steady. For eastern and central Nebraska, premium large squares of new crop alfalfa were reported at $155, with good large squares ranged from $130 to $150 and good round bales at $70 to $85. Premium large squares of new crop alfalfa/orchard grass were pegged at $120 with good large rounds at $90. 17% protein dehydrated alfalfa pellets were reported at $185 to $205. For the Platte Valley, good round bales of new crop alfalfa brought $70 to $80 with 17% dehydrated protein alfalfa pellets at $185. Hay prices in Iowa were mostly steady to firm. The USDA says weather allowed for plenty of fieldwork and while parts of the state got up to an inch of rain, more is needed. Premium small squares of alfalfa sold at $280 with good large squares at $170. Premium small squares of alfalfa/grass ranged from $225 to $280 with fair large squares at $90 to $117.

Lean hog futures were lower, pressured by the steady to lower cash during the session and demand uncertainties. Trade volume was relatively lower and there was also position squaring ahead of the July contract’s expiration. July was down $.15 at $92.60 and August was $2.62 lower at $79.90.

Cash hogs were steady to lower. Profit margins have narrowed somewhat over the past few days because of the decline in the wholesale market, reducing buyer interest. Near term, the market is still looking at generally tight available supplies, but those numbers should start to expand either later this month or early next month. Seasonally, the wholesale pork market may be near a top.

Iowa/Southern Minnesota direct barrows and gilts closed $.91 lower at $82 to $87.50 for a weighted average of $86.85, the Western Cornbelt was down $.80 at $82 to $87.50 with an average of $86.79, and national direct business was down $.40 at $81 to $87.50 for an average of $86.40. Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets were not tested. Missouri direct butchers were steady at $81 on light to moderate supply and demand. Sows were steady at $45 to $62. Illinois direct sows were $2 higher at $58 to $68 on very good demand for moderate offerings. Barrows and gilts were steady at $57 to $$63 with good demand for moderate offerings. Boars ranged from $10 to $45.

Pork closed $.81 higher at $104.48. Butts, bellies, and ribs were weak to sharply lower, while loins, picnics, and hams were higher. The estimated hog slaughter of 414,000 head was down 6,000 on the week and 2,000 on the year. With a Saturday kill of 34,000 head, that’d put the week to date total at 2.202 million, in-line with expectations.

The USDA reports early weaned pigs and all feeder pigs were steady this week with demand moderate for moderate offerings. 54% of all receipts were formula prices. The composite formula range for early weaned pigs was $31.06 to $44 for an average of $35.90 and a composite cash range of $22.50 to $31 with an average of $27.51, and an all weaned pig average of $32.29. The composite cash range for feeder pigs was $45 to $55, for an average of $53.49.

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