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Cattle futures end the week lower

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day lower, pressured by the higher move in corn.  October live cattle closed $.60 lower at $144.50 and December live cattle closed $.45 lower at $150.62.  September feeder cattle closed $1.22 lower at $183.37.  October feeders closed $.85 lower at $186. 

It was a quiet Friday for direct cash cattle business following a couple of days with light to moderate trade.  Deals for the week were at mostly $140 live in the South, $3.50 to $4.50 higher than the previous week’s weighted averages.  Dressed business in Nebraska and Iowa was at mostly $229 to $230, about $2 to $3 higher than the prior week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. 

At the Winter Livestock Auction in Kansas, compared to last week feeder steers 600 to 975 pounds were steady to $3 higher.  However, thin-fleshed cattle and fancy steers were $10 to $15 higher.  Heifers 400 pounds to 1,000 pounds were steady to $ lower.  The USDA says demand was good on steers and moderate on heifers.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 64% steers and 82% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 765 to 796 pounds brought $191 to $195.50 and feeder steers 812 to 844 pounds brought $188.85 to $194.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 636 to 649 pounds brought $186 to $190 and feeder heifers 762 to 778 pounds brought $164 to $168.50.

In South Dakota this past week, alfalfa and grass hay are firm compared to the previous week.  The USDA says demand was good for all types of hay as dry weather reduced the tonnage of the second cutting.  There are limited prospects of a third cutting.  There have been good rains in the Eastern third of the state, but some East River areas have missed showers.  West River remains dry with drought areas expanding.  Alfalfa, premium, small squares brought $10 per bale.  Alfalfa, premium, large squares, brought $275.  Alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $210 and large squares brought $225 to $235.  Alfalfa, fair, large rounds brought $190. 

In Missouri, overall drought conditions in the state are much improved following recent rains in the southern half of the state.  Many cattle producers are still feeding or providing extra nutritional resources for the livestock they’ve kept.  The USDA says hay movement has been moderate and demand is moderate to good.  Prices are steady to firm.  Alfalfa, supreme, medium squares brought $225 to $275.  Alfalfa, supreme, small squares brought $8 to $12 per bale.  Alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $120 to $180 and small squares brought $5 to $9 per bale. 

Boxed beef closed higher moderate demand for light offerings.  Choice closed $.27 higher at $263.37 and Select closed $2.13 higher at $239.59.  The Choice/Select spread is $23.78.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 118,000 head – up 3,000 on the week and up 2,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 33,000 head – down 6,000 on the week and down 24,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mixed, adjusting spreads.  October lean hogs closed $1.05 lower at $100.02 and December lean hogs closed $.25 lower at $90.37. 

Cash hogs closed mixed with a moderate negotiated run.  Processors had moments of aggressive procurement efforts throughout the week and bid up to move big numbers.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs.  Demand for US pork on the global market has been strong, helping provide price support.  But, there are long-term concerns putting pressure on the market. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.32 higher with a base range of $114 to $136 with a weighted average of $123.69; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $2.36 lower with a weighted average of $129.18; the Western Corn Belt closed $2.17 lower with a weighted average of $129.16; the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $123.23.

According to the USDA’s weekly feeder pig report, early-weaned pigs and all feeder pigs were steady.  Demand was moderate for moderate offerings.  The Total Composite Cash Range for early-weaned pigs was $34 to $47 with a weighted average of $42.04.  The Total Composite Formula Range for early-weaned pigs was $47.53 to $52 with a weighted average of $49.71.  The weighted average for early-weaned pigs was $44.33 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $69.61.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $75. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for light offerings at $71 to $83.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $77 to $85.  Boars ranged from $55 to $58 and $10 to $20.

Pork values closed lower – down $1.48 at $121.83.  Bellies were sharply lower.  Hams and picnics were lower.  Loins, butts, and ribs were higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 440,000 head – down 12,000 on the week and down 24,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 29,000 head – down 32,000 on the week and down 49,000 on the year. 

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