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Cattle futures higher, hog futures lower

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were higher with boxed beef up at midday, getting ready for Friday’s USDA Cattle on Feed report. April live was up $.80 at $162.35 and June was $.30 higher at $156.87. April feeders were $1.90 higher at $195.15 and May was up $1.47 at $200.27.

It is looking like the bulk of business is essentially done for the week following Wednesday’s moderate to active trade in most feeding areas. Asking prices for the few cattle left on showlists are around $166 in the South, and $266 in the North. Having said all of that, some clean up here and there is not completely out of the question.

At the, Clarinda Livestock Feeder Cattle Auction in Iowa, compared to last week, 500 to 700 pound steers were steady.  Heifers weighing 600 to 700 pounds were $2 to $3 higher.  Supply was moderate on the offering of quality feeder calves.  The USDA says demand was good.  42 percent of the supply were steers and 72 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and large 1 feeder steers 601 to 648 pounds brought $189 to $221.80 with an average price of $207.07 and feeder steers 804 to 832 pounds brought $185.50 to $188 with an average price of $186.92.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 552 to 589 pounds brought $187.50 to $214.50 with an average price of $196.02 and feeder heifers 706 to 740 pounds brought $159 to $183 with an average price of $177.82.

Boxed beef cutout values closed sharply lower.  Choice is $.32 lower at $283.95. Select is $.87 lower at $271.76.  The Choice/Select spread is $12.19. Estimated cattle slaughter is 123,000, down 1,000 on the week, but steady on the year.

Lean hog futures were sharply lower, with several months limit down, on the cash and wholesale pressure during the session. April live was down $4.30 at $79.45 and June was $4.75 lower at $93.47.

Cash hogs closed mixed.  It looks like many buyers have the needed near-term numbers in hand after the strong negotiated movement earlier in the week. Sustained demand for pork continues to be somewhat of a question mark partly due to concerns of a slowing global economy, seasonal trends in suppliers and currency movements. However, Pork exports bounced back from the previous week. 

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.37 lower with a base range of $72 to $82 with an average price of $78.83; at the Iowa/Minnesota $.40 lower with a weighted average price of $79.35; the Western Corn Belt closed $.16 higher with a weighted average price of $79.95.  The Eastern Corn Belt did not report due to confidentiality reasons.

Butcher hogs are $2 lower at $46.  Boards are $14. Pork values closed $1.89 lower.  Hams are $6 sharply lower, ribs, picnics and bellies are lower.  Loins and butts are higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 485,000, steady on the week and up 7,000 on the year.  

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