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Cattle and hog futures end the week lower

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live on and feeder cattle ended the day lower on fund selling.  April live cattle closed $.75 lower at $120.85 and June live cattle closed $.47 lower at $119.17.  April feeder cattle closed $.42 lower at $139.62 and May feeder cattle closed $.70 lower at $143.72. 

There was very light, scattered trade to end the week for direct cash cattle trade following the light to moderate business that took place on Thursday.  Southern live deals were mostly $120 to $121, steady to $.50 higher than the previous week’s weighted averages.  Northern dressed business was marked at mostly $196 dressed, about $1 higher than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. 

At the MO-Kan Livestock Market in Missouri, compared to last week, steer calves sold mostly steady, but some hard weaned 600-to-655-pound steers sold on a very active market and were around $10 higher from the most accurate comparison from two weeks ago.  The USDA says demand was good to very good with several attractive consignments of calves and more yearlings in the offering this week.  Receipts were up on the week.  Feeder supply was 43 percent steers and 32 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 503 to 541 pounds brought $170.50 to $182.50 and feeder steers 608 to 646 pounds brought $154 to $171.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 502 to 547 pounds brought $144 to $157.50 and feeder heifers 618 to 640 pounds brought $136 to $146. 

In South Dakota this past week there were a few hay sales reported and alfalfa hay was steady.  The USDA says demand was moderate for alfalfa, but the best demand remains for out-of-state dairies for large squares of higher testing alfalfa.  Demand from in-state buyers has been light due to the mild winter and the decline in supplemental hay feeding.  Demand for corn stalks and straw are also light.  Hay auctions are still seeing large volumes of hay being offered.  Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $140 F.O.B and $160 delivered.  Alfalfa, good large squares brought $180 to $185.  Wheat straw, large squares brought $35 F.O.B and $40 delivered. 

Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for fairly light offerings.  Choice is $.57 lower at $276.05 and Select is $.67 higher at $269.10.  The Choice/Select spread is $6.95.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 112,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and up 27,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 70,000 head – up 4,000 on the week and up 32,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures were pressured by the lower midday pork and fund liquidation, shrugging off the continued strength in the cash market.  May lean hogs closed $1.10 lower at $102.57 and June lean hogs closed $3 lower at $101.70. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a big negotiated run.  Packers bid up to move their desired numbers at the end of the week.  The industry continues to watch the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts. Demand strength, on both the global market and domestically, has been very supportive to prices and that’s expected to continue.  Daily slaughter runs remain at relatively high levels. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct are $1.71 higher with a base range of $101.30 to $108.50 and a weighted average of $104.49; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.77 higher with a weighted average of $105.84; the Western Corn Belt is $1.38 higher with a weighted average of $105.84.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality. 

According to this week’s Feeder Pig Report from the USDA, early-weaned pigs were steady to weak and all feeder pigs were $2 per head higher.  The USDA says demand was moderate for light to moderate offerings and receipt included 50 percent formulated prices.  The Total Composite Cash Range was $44 to $58 for an average of $53.33.  The Total Composite Formula Rage was $40 to $59.12 and a weighted average of $47.35.  The weighted average for early-weaned pigs was $50.04 and the average for all feeder pigs was $101.31. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $2 lower at $62. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 lower with moderate to good demand for moderate offerings at $62 to $72.  Barrow and gilt prices were $3 higher with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $65 to $73.  Boars ranged from $30 to $40 and $12 to $20. 

Pork vales closed lower – $1.28 at $112.09.  Loins, hams, picnics, and ribs were lower.  Bellies are firm and butts are sharply higher.  Estimated hog slaughter is 468,000 head – even on the week and up 63,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 75,000 head, down 109,000 on the week and down 142,000 head on the year.  Thursday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 474,000 head. 

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