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Cash hogs close mostly steady to higher

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were higher, getting ready for widespread direct business and Friday’s USDA Cattle on Feed report. Feeders were able to shrug off the firm move in corn thanks to strong feeder cattle demand. October live was up $1.10 at $186.77 and December was $1.05 higher at $191.52. October feeders were $1.22 higher at $260.57 and November was up $.55 at $265.57.

Direct cash cattle trade remained quiet on Wednesday. A few bids were on the table in parts of Iowa, but were passed. Asking prices are around $185 to $186 in the South, but still not established in the North. It’s looking like business will be delayed until Thursday or Friday.

At the Kingsville Livestock Auction in Missouri, steers and heifers sold steady to $3 higher compared to the most recent sale. USDA says demand was good for a moderate supply. The spring born calves are making up a good portion of the offering each week now with most just coming in off the cow, but of very good quality. Several loads of yearlings were on hand as well. Slaughter cows sold $2 to $6 lower. Feeder supply included 48% steers and 56% percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 501 to 543 pounds sold for $310 to $330 and feeder steers 727 to 746 pounds brought $267 to $275. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 698 pounds sold for $260 and feeder heifers 717 to 720 pounds brought $254.50 to $257.

Boxed beef was steady to lower at the close. Choice was $.86 lower at $301.26 and Select was down $3.10 at $278.68. The Choice/Select spread is $22.58.

Estimated cattle slaughter is 126,000 head – even on the week and down 2,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were supported by the mostly steady to higher cash during the session and contracts’ discount to the cash index. October was up $.92 at $85.77 and December was $1.97 higher at $78.22.

Cash hogs were mostly steady to higher with strong closed negotiated numbers for the major direct markets. It looks like most buyers needed near-term ready numbers, keeping an eye on domestic demand as the summer grilling season draws to a close. The USDA’s weekly export sales numbers, out Thursday morning, will be watched closely. For the week ending September 16th, the average barrow and gilt weight in the Iowa/Southern Minnesota/South Dakota reporting area was 278.9 pounds, one tenth lighter than the previous week and seven tenths under a year ago.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were $.99 higher with a base range of $75 to $85 and weighted average price of $78.80. The Iowa/Minnesota was up $.76 with a weighted average price of $79.27; the Western Corn Belt fell $.63 with a weighted average of $79.03; and the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison, but a weighted average price of $77.77.

Butcher hogs at the Dorchester, Wisconsin markets were steady at $58. Slaughter sows were steady at $33 to $36. Boars were marked at $12. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 lower with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $31 to $42; barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $41 to $51; and boards were $20 to $25 and $10 to $12.

Pork values closed steady to lower on Wednesday – down $1.91 at $99.22. Butts were higher. Bellies, hams, ribs, picnics, and loins were all lower.

Estimated hog slaughter is 485,000 head – up 9,000 on the week and down 6,000 on the year.

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