Market News

Midday cash livestock markets

The main item of business in cattle country on Monday is the distribution of this week’s showlists. Last week’s business took place mainly on Wednesday at 127.00 to 128.00 in the South, $2.00 to 3.00 higher than the previous week, and mostly 210.00 in the dressed trade, generally 9.00 higher. Last week’s trade looked no better than moderate suggesting that packers could once again find themselves short bought by Wednesday or Thursday.

Even though the cost of inventory jumped last week, beef processing margins did a great job of staying ahead of the curve. According to the DTN model, gross packer margins are starting the week around 260.00 per head, $17 greater than last week, $70.00 more than 2016, and the highest level since mid-November.

Boxed beef cutout values are lower in the morning report. Choice beef 233.10, down .33, select 214.09, down .39.

The Ericson Livestock Auction at Erickson, Nebraska had receipts of 4263 cattle on Saturday. Compared to the previous week, steers sold steady to 3.00 higher and heifers were 2.00 to 3.00 higher. Buyers bid readily from start to finish on mostly part loads of mostly home raised cattle. A large crowd of buyers were on hand with some of the cattle going out of state and bidding was also active from internet buyers. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 673 pounds averaged 149.18 per hundredweight. 681 pound heifers brought 132.94.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade are .02 lower at 66.05 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West is down .01 at 65.92, and nationally the market is .57 lower at 64.87. Missouri direct base carcass meat price is steady to 1.00 lower from 58.00 to 60.00.

The pork carcass cutout value is .39 lower at 81.21 FOB plant.

Ham prices look to firm a bit over the next 10 to 14 days heading into the Easter time frame. This prospect, in addition to expectations for decent fresh loin sales, explains why overall carcass value is forecast to move modestly higher through the balance of March.

Hay sales in Iowa were affected by snow and ice conditions that hit the state last week. Hay prices were mostly steady to instances higher. Premium small squares of alfalfa traded from $200.00 to 240.00 per ton. Good large rounds from $80.00 to 100.00 per ton. Alfalfa/grass good large rounds from $70.00 to 100.00.

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