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Cattle futures higher at midweek

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day higher, supported by stronger cash trade.  Feeders had additional support from the day’s mostly lower move in corn.  June live cattle closed $1.07 higher at $122.30 and August live cattle closed $1.02 higher at $124.92.  August feeder cattle closed $.87 higher at $157.70 and September feeder cattle closed $1.15 higher at $159.80. 

Another day of solid direct cash cattle trade took place on Wednesday.  Deals in Kansas, Texas, Nebraska, and Iowa were all fully steady with Tuesday’s business.  Live deals in the South were marked at $122 live, deals in Iowa were at $193 to $195 dressed, and in Nebraska trade was marked at $195 dressed and $124 live.  Southern live deals this week have had a full range of $120 to $123, mostly $122, $2 higher than last week’s weighted averages and dressed deals in the North have ranged from $193 to $197, mostly $195, $4 higher than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  The Fed Cattle Exchange had an offering of 6,049 head with 889 head sold at $119.25 to $122.50.   

At the Interstate Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to last week feeder steers under 700 pounds were steady to $2 higher and steers over 700 pounds were $2 to $4 higher.  Feeder heifers under 500 pounds were steady and over 500 pounds were $3 to $6 higher.  The USDA says demand was good and supply was moderate. Feeder supply included 45% steers and 38% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 550 to 591 pounds brought $154.50 to $164 and feeder steers 767 to 792 pounds brought $141 to $14.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 505 to 547 pounds brought $143 to $152 and feeder heifers 551 to 590 pounds brought $141.50 to $147.50. 

Boxed beef closed sharply lower with light demand for heavy offerings.  Choice closed $5.26 lower at $329.17 and Select closed $8.32 lower at $289.96.  The Choice/Select spread is $39.21. Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – even on the week and up 1,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day locked limit-down on follow-through selling, shrugging off higher pork values and cash trade during the session.  July lean hogs closed $3 lower at $115.50 and August lean hogs closed $3 lower at $111.70.

Cash hogs closed sharply higher with a big negotiated run.  Processors have been aggressive lately in their procurement efforts and prices have reflected that.  The strong demand for US pork on the global market and domestically have been largely supportive to prices.  The industry expects that to continue.  Hog weights this week dropped to 281.5 pounds, which’s a nearly 3-pound decline from last week and 5.1 pounds below year-ago levels. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $5.73 higher with a base range of $113.09 to $137 and a weighted average of $128.45; the Iowa/Minnesota closed with a weighted average of $133.84; the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $134.21.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash market are steady at $75.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with good demand for heavy offerings at $38 to $49.  Barrow and gilt prices were $2 to $3 higher with good demand for heavy offerings at $80 to $84.  Boars ranged from $45 to $50 and $12 to $18. 

Pork values closed lower – down $1.99 at $120.52.  Ribs and loins were both sharply lower.  Picnics and butts were lower.  Bellies and hams were higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 483,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and up 19,000 on the year. 

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