Market News

Cattle trade may be done for the week

Packer inquiry was light on Thursday afternoon and it may be possible business is essentially completed for the week. There was a fairly active cattle trade in most areas on Wednesday. Live business in the South ranged from 130.00 to 132.00, $3.00 to 5.00 higher than last week. In the North the dressed business was at mostly 210.00 to 212.00, $5.00 to 7.00 higher than last week’s weighted average basis Nebraska. The cattle slaughter was estimated at 115,000 head, 1,000 less than last week, but 4,000 more than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values closed firm to higher on light to moderate demand and moderate offerings. Choice beef up .55 at 215.72, and select 1.57 higher at 203.57.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled .07 to 1.70 higher with April up the most at 129.62. Spot April is obviously duty bound to keep up with the cash gains as it eyes expiration at the end of the month.

Triple digit gains dominated the feeder market through midsession but apparently ran out of gas and settled .12 to .77 lower. John Harrington at DTN says feeders may need to momentarily pause until the cash index can catch up a little.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Huss Platte valley Auction in Nebraska totaled 4290 head. Compared to two weeks ago, steers weighing less than 800 pounds sold 8.00 to 9.00 higher, over 800 pounds 10.00 to 18.00 higher. Heifers were 6.00 to 15.00 higher. Buyers bid readily from start to finish for all classes of cattle. Some offerings displayed average plus flesh and buyers didn’t shy away from these offerings. It has been several weeks since buyers have been this aggressive in procuring cattle. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 776 pounds brought 149.65 per hundredweight. 765 pound heifers traded at 136.37.

Lean hogs settled .17 to 2.07 lower. While losses seemed to be limited in the early going sellers became more serious as the day wore on. Aggressive selling interest was tied to technical bearishness and uninspiring fundamentals.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .46 lower at 53.61 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West was down .27 at 53.80, and nationally the market was .20 lower at 54.07. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady from 47.00 to 49.00. Illinois direct trade hogs on a live basis were steady from 35.00 to 42.00, sows steady 31.00 to 43.00.

The pork carcass cutout value was down .20 at 74.59.

While seasonal pork demand has been a bit slow in surfacing this spring, buying interest may soon be sparked thanks to lower wholesale prices and the opportunity of better late spring and summer margins.

The hog slaughter was estimated at 443,000 head, 1,000 more than last week, and 11,000 greater than last year.

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