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Livestock futures close higher on outside market support

It was relatively quiet in feedlot country on Tuesday afternoon with a few scattered bids reported by private sources at 125.00 live and 197.00 to 198.00 dressed. Asking prices are around 128.00 to 129.00 live and 205.00 dressed. Barring extraordinary basis opportunities significant trade volume will probably be delayed until Thursday or later. Cattle slaughter was estimated at 122,000 head, 2,000 less than last week and last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were steady to firm on moderate to fairly good demand and moderate offerings. Choice boxed beef was up .60 at 82.21, and select was .02 higher at 183.93.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 32 to 62 higher. Moderate gains were seen in the live cattle contracts on Tuesday as traders focused on outside market strength. Trade for the most part was sluggish. A few cattle traded in the cash trade at 2.00 lower than last week, but trade may slow until midweek given the light support in the futures market. April settled .32 points higher at 125.37 and June was up .62 at 120.45.

Feeder cattle ended the session 2 to 35 points higher with the gains in the nearby contracts outperforming the deferred issues due to higher corn values. Support came from the moderate strength in the live pit. April settled .35 higher at 136.95, and May was up .42 at 89.02.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Oklahoma National stockyards on Monday totaled 9950 head. Feeder steers and heifers were 3.00 to 6.00 lower. Steer and heifer calves’ trended 2.00 to 4.00 lower, thin fleshed grazing cattle were at the least decline. Quality was mostly average. Feeder steer calves averaging 641 pounds brought 144.52 per hundredweight. 825 pound steers traded at 127.49. 671 pound heifers averaged 127.58, and heifers weighing 827 averaged 116.80 per hundredweight.

Lean hogs settled 10 to 79 points higher as light to moderate support developed in the futures market through much of the morning session. The gains in corn futures was the main driver behind the renewed lean hog support, but traders also focused on additional buyer activity stepping into the cash markets.  The pork carcass cutout value was also higher in the morning report lending additional support to the market. May settled .52 higher at 86.80, and June was up .42 at 89.02.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .86 higher at 79.83 on a carcass basis, the West was up 1.26 at 79.43, and the East was down .76 at 73.99. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady to 1.00 lower from 72.00 to 77.00. Terminal hogs closed steady to an instance 1.00 lower from 51.00 to 55.00.

The pork carcass cutout value was .60 higher at 82.21 according to mandatory reporting FOB Omaha. Bellies and ribs were lower, all other cuts were higher.

Signs of slowing economic growth in China only compound the fears that foreign demand for U.S. pork is faltering.

Tuesday’s hog kill at 419,000 head is 4,000 more than last week and 6,000 greater than a year ago. Saturday’s hog slaughter is expected to be between 50,000 and 55,000 head.

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