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Cash cattle trade remains quiet, light business reported in Kansas

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were sharply higher on an oversold bounce ahead of this week’s direct trade, shrugging off the firm corn and lower midday beef. February live was up $1.90 at $168.97 and April was $1.80 higher at $171.50. January feeders were $4.17 higher at $214.70 and March was up $3.90 at $217.47.

Direct cash cattle trade was mostly quiet on Tuesday with just a few early asking prices noted in parts of the South at $175-plus. Bids remain very elusive. Significant trade volume will probably be delayed until Wednesday or later. A light trade was reported in parts of Kansas on Monday at $171, $3 lower than last week, but it was scattered and isn’t likely to set the trend for the week.

At the Callaway Livestock Center in Missouri, steers vales 400 to 650 pounds traded $15 to $20 higher compared to the most recent sale. Feeder heifers 400 to 550 pounds were $10 to $20 higher. USDA says demand was moderate with a good supply. Feeder supply include 66% steers and 57% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 707 to 716 pounds brought $223 to $228. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 605 to 646 pounds sold for $216 to $221.

Boxed beef cutout values closed lower. Choice was down $1.24 at $293.75 and Select was $3.70 lower at $259.13. The Choice/Select spread was $34.62.

Estimated cattle slaughter was 126,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and down 3,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were mixed, mostly lower, on spread trade, the steady to lower cash during the session, and questions about sustained pork demand. February was down $1.45 at $69.35 and April was $1.45 lower at $76.10.

Cash hogs were steady to lower with solid closing negotiated numbers for the major direct markets. Those major buyers saw little to no resistance to their lower bids, using the available ready numbers, higher average hog weights, and questions about sustained pork demand as leverage. The industry is preparing for the implementation of California’s Proposition 12 law while watching movement ahead of the usual slowdown for Christmas and the New Year and the impending shift to winter weather that could cause some delays for business.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were down $1.70 with a base range of $48 to $57 and weighted average price of $53.83. The Iowa/Minnesota was $1.50 lower with a weighted average price of $53.88. The Western Corn Belt was down $1.40 with a weighted average price of $53.70. The Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison, but a weighted average price of $55.48.

Butcher hogs at the Dorchester, Wisconsin and Garnavillo, Iowa markets were trending steady at $50; sows were steady at $39 to $42; boars were marked aat $10 to $16. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $40 to $53; barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $35 to $45; boars were $18 to $21 and $5 to $10.

Pork values were higher at the close – up $.24 at $84.67. Estimated hog slaughter was 488,000 head – up 4,000 on the week and down 3,000 on the year.

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