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Cattle futures higher heading into the weekend

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day higher ahead of Friday’s On Feed numbers, which were at the high end of the pre-report estimates.  February live cattle closed $.80 higher at $115.92 and April live cattle closed $.75 higher at $123.67.  March feeder cattle close d$.92 higher at $139.12. 

A light direct cash cattle trade developed Friday afternoon. Deals were mostly in the North with dressed business marked at mostly $180, fully steady with the prior week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  Southern live deals were at $114, fully steady with the week’s previous business.  There was a light trade that took place on Thursday with Southern live deals marked at $114, that’s fully steady with the previous week’s business.  In the North, the majority of the business was done on a live basis at $113 to $114, that’s also about steady with the prior week.  There was some scattered dressed business that was marked at $180, fully steady with the previous week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. 

At the Ogallala Livestock Auction, no comparison to last week.  The USDA says demand was good with buyers in the crowd on online.  Receipts were down slightly compared to the most recent sale and were down on the year.  Feeder supply included 61 percent steers and 77 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 600 to 642 pounds brought $156 to $169.50 and feeder steers 700 to 739 pounds brought $147.50 to $155.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 604 to 649 pounds brought $135.50 to $142 and feeder heifers 671 to 684 pounds brought $131.50 to $136.50. 

At the Nebraska Hay Market, compared to last week hay bales in central and eastern areas were fully steady.  Alfalfa in the western part of the state was steady to $10 higher.  Ground and delivered hay and cornstalks were steady to $5 higher.  Dehy alfalfa pellets were steady to $5 higher, sun-cured pellets were steady.  The USDA says demand was good for all classes of hay.  The bulk of the hay is staying in the local areas, however there is still some heading to out-of-state buyers.  In Central Nebraska, alfalfa, supreme large squares brought $220.  Alfalfa good large rounds brought $95 to $120.  In Eastern Nebraska, alfalfa premium large squares brought $195.  Premium alfalfa, small squares brought $8.  Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $120 to $125.  Alfalfa pellets, sun-cured 15% brought $275 to $285 and dehy pellets 17% protein brought $310.  In the Platte Valley area, alfalfa good large rounds brought $110.  Ground alfalfa brought $140 to $145.  Alfalfa pellets, sun-cured 15% protein brought $245 and dehy pellets 17% brought $280 to $285.  In the West, alfalfa, good large rounds brought $170 to $190.  Ground alfalfa brought $173. 

Boxed beef closed firm on moderate demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $.38 higher at $239.23 and Select closed $.43 higher at $227.90.  The Choice/Select spread is $11.75.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 109,000 head – up 3,000 on the week and down 12,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated cattle slaughter is 63,000 head – up 22,000 on the week and up 32,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed mixed on spread adjustments, export sales declined this week and pork values were sharply higher during the session.  April lean hogs closed $.42 lower at $84.50 and May lean hogs closed $.17 lower at $87.40. 

Cash hogs closed weak with a fairly light negotiated run.  The industry remains optimistic demand for US pork will continue its strength on the global market and domestically.  That’s been very supportive to prices recently.  But, there are also lingering concerns about the supply situation.  The availability of market-ready hogs has been more than ample and daily slaughter totals continue to push higher.  Both contribute to additional pork coming online.  Should a demand disruption occur, it would be detrimental to pork prices.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.36 lower with a base range of $64 to $74 and weighted average of $69.22.  Prices at the regional direct markets were not reported due to confidentiality.   

According to the USDA’s National Feeder Pig report, early-weaned pigs were steady and all feeder pigs were $3 per head higher.  Demand was moderate for moderate offerings.  For early-weaned pigs, the Total Composite cash range was $50 to $65 for an average of $60.  The Total Composite formula range was $39.50 to $65.03 and an average of $49.55.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs is $53.87 and the average for all feed pigs was $77.78. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady in Dorchester, Wisconsin at $60 to $66 and in Garnavillo, Iowa at $70. 

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 to $3 higher with very good demand for light to moderate offerings at $52 to $62.  Barrow and gilt prices were steady with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $43 to $50.  Boars ranged from $20 to $25 and $10 to $13. 

Pork values closed higher – up $.68 at $91.49.  Hams and picnics were sharply higher.  Butts were sharply lower.  Ribs, butts, and loins were all lower.  Estimated hog slaughter is 488,000 head – up 5,000 on the week and up 21,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 173,000 head – down 38,000 on the week and down 19,000 on the year.

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