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Cattle futures higher ahead of on feed report

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were higher ahead of the USDA’s Cattle on Feed report, which was out after the close. Feeders did pick up some support from the lower move in corn. December live was up $1.00 higher at $175.75 and February was up $.87 at $176.80. January feeders were $1.00 higher at $228.50 and March was up $.87 at $230.97.

Direct cash cattle business was wrapped up for the week by Friday. Asking prices for what’s left on the show list were $180+ live and $284 dressed. Live trade was mainly at $178, $2 to $3 lower than the previous week, with dressed business mostly at $282, unchanged from Wednesday, but down $4 from the prior week’s weighted average in Nebraska.

Boxed beef closed mixed with light to moderate movement. Choice was down $.85 at $293.87 and Select beef was $3.05 higher at $270.70. The estimated cattle slaughter of 121,000 head was up 7,000 on the week, but down 3,000 on the year.

At the Ogallala Livestock Auction feeder cattle sale in Nebraska, compared to the previous week, steers weighing less than 450 pounds were lower, with 450-to-650-pound steers steady to $9 higher. Feeder heifers weighing 500 pounds and under were $7 to $15 higher, while heifers weighing 500 to 650 pounds were $4 to $17 lower. The USDA says demand was moderate to good for a crowd of selective buyers, with receipts down on the week, but up on the year. 55% of the offering were steers and 53% of the total run weighed more than 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers weighing 500 to 600 pounds sold at $271 to $308 and 600 to 700 pound steers ranged from $237 to $266. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers weighing 500 to 600 pounds brought $233 to $276 and 700 to 800 pound heifers ranged from $213 to $230.50.

Lean hog futures were mixed, mostly firm, on spread trade and short covering. Pork was up sharply at midday, but that was balanced out by the steady to lower cash during the session and the uncertainties about the stability of the wholesale market. December was down $.50 at $70.97 and February was $.17 lower at $75.45.

Cash hogs were steady to sharply lower with moderate closing negotiated numbers for the major direct markets. Buyers were once again able to press their leverage with ample market ready numbers and uncertainties about sustained pork demand. The wholesale market did finish higher Friday but has been inconsistent over the past few weeks.

National direct barrows and gilts closed $2.19 lower with a base price range of $58 to $70 for a weighted average of $61.80. Iowa/Southern Minnesota was down $2.30 at $61.60 and the Western Corn Belt was $2.66 lower at $61.20. Midwest butcher hogs were steady at $60. Illinois direct sows were steady at $43 to $56 with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings. Barrows and gilts were steady at $40 to $50 on moderate demand and offerings. Boars ranged from $5 to $21.

Pork closed $2.24 higher at $88.16. Picnics, ribs, and bellies were up, loins, butts, and hams were down. The estimated hog slaughter of 485,000 head, up 3,000 on the week and unchanged on the year.

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