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Cattle futures end the week higher

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were supported by the higher move in beef.  February live cattle closed $.87 higher at $138.70 and April live cattle closed $1.47 higher at $143.10.  March feeder cattle closed $.12 higher at $159.62 and April feeder cattle closed $.20 higher at $165.30. 

Direct cash cattle trade activity ended the week quietly.  Deals this week have been around $135 to $138 live in the South, mostly $136 to $137, steady to $1 lower than the prior week’s weighted averages.  Northern dressed deals have been marked at $217 to $218, mostly $218, fully steady with the previous week’s weighted averages basis in Nebraska.   

At the Ogallala Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared to last week both steers and heifers were weak.  Steres were mostly $7 lower and heifers were mostly $3 to $5 lower.  The USDA says demand was good.  Receipts were down on the week and up on the year.  Feeder supply included 51% steers and 52% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 606 to 646 pounds brought $173 to $190 and feeder steers 759 to 792 pounds brought $156.50 to $164.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 550 to 597 pounds brought $165 to $182.25 and feeder heifers 605 to 648 pounds brought $150 to $167.

In Missouri this past week, another week of winter weather and the uptick in hay feeding continues.  There is plenty of hay to be found for those that are in the market for hay in the state.  Most currently have decent supplies.  There are concerns about the limited moisture this winter.  Hay supplies are moderate and demand is light to moderate.  Prices are mostly steady.  Alfalfa, supreme medium squares brought $200 to $250.  Alfalfa, supreme small squares brought $8 to $12 per bale. Alfalfa, premium medium squares brought $160 to $200.  Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $120 to $160.  Alfalfa, good, small squares brought $5 to $9.  Alfalfa, fair large rounds brought $100 to $125. 

Boxed beef closed higher to sharply higher on solid demand for light offerings.  Choice closed $1.31 higher at $290.42 and Select closed $4.31 higher at $283.41.  The Choice/Select spread is $7.01. Estimated cattle slaughter is 117,000 head – up 3,000 on the week and down 3,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 57,000 head – down 4,000 on the week and down 5,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures were higher on short covering.  February lean hogs closed $.90 higher at $87.92 and April lean hogs closed $.25 higher at $94.92. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a moderate negotiated run.  Processors are moving their desired numbers without having to get too aggressive in their procurement efforts.  Demand for US pork on the global market has been strong, which is expected to continue.  However, there are long-term demand concerns which has been pressuring prices.   Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.29 higher with a base range of $63 to $90 and a weighted average of $75.11; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.19 higher with a weighted average of $85.39; the Western Corn Belt closed $.67 higher with a weighted average of $84.44.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

According to the latest Feeder Pig report from the USDA, early-weaned pigs were $6 per head higher and all feeder pigs were $2 per head higher.  Demand was moderate for moderate offerings and receipts included 59% formulated prices.  Total Composite cash range for early-weaned pigs was $60 to $88 and a weighted average of $75.11. and the Total Composite formula range is $5.50 to $76.15 and a weighted average of $56.40.  The weighted average for early-weaned pigs was $63.34 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $97.68. 

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with light to moderate demand for light offerings at $34 to $44.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $39 to $48.  Boars ranged from $20 to $25 and $10 to $15. 

Pork values closed lower – down $1.80 at $96.39.  Hams were sharply lower.  Ribs, bellies, picnics, loins, and butts were higher to sharply higher.  Estimated hog slaughter is 468,000 head – up 13,000 on the week and down 18,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 209,000 head – down 9,000 on the week and down 42,000 on the year. 

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