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Cattle futures lower ahead of On Feed numbers

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle closed sharply lower, with feeders leading the way down on the strength in corn.  Cattle on feed numbers came out on Friday.  April live cattle closed $1.45 lower at $118.32 and June live cattle closed $1.40 lower at $115.85.  April feeder cattle closed

Another round of light direct cash cattle trade took place on Thursday.  Dressed deals in parts of the North were at $192, $4 lower than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  Most of those deals are marked for delayed delivery.  Some live deals have also been reported at $121, which is about $1.50 lower than last week’s weighted averages.   There was a light, mostly live trade that took place on Wednesday at $119 to $120 in the South and $121 to $124 in the North. 

At the Mitchell Livestock Auction in South Dakota, compared to last week, feeder steers 800 to 850 pounds were $7 lower, steers 900 to 950 pounds were steady, steers were 1000 to 1150 pounds were $3 to $7 lower.  Feeder heifers 750 to 800 pounds were $9 lower, and heifers 800 to 1000 pounds were $4 to $6 lower.  The USDA says there were many load lots in today’s offering, demand was good.  Receipts were down slightly on the week and the year.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 801 to 845 pounds brought $128 to $133.35 and feeder steers 909 to 934 pounds brought $127.50 to $133.35.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 820 to 849 pounds brought $120.10 to $124.10 and feeder heifers 863 to 887 pounds brought $118.75 to $122.25. 

Boxed beef closed higher on good demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $1.85 higher at $282.31 and Select closed $1.81 higher at $273.69.  The Choice/Select spread is $8.62. Estimated cattle slaughter is 118,000 head – up 4,000 on the week and up 36,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mostly lower on spillover from cattle.  May lean hogs closed $.15 lower at $107.45 and June lean hogs closed $.97 lower at $103.55. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a moderate, negotiated run.  Packers continue their aggressive procurement efforts, and are also keeping an eye on the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  Demand for US pork has been strong on the global market and domestically, which has been very supportive to prices.  The industry expects that to continue.  Should a disruption to demand occur, it would be very detrimental to prices.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct are $.42 higher with a base range of $102 to $114 and a weighted average of $107.30; the Iowa/Minnesota is $2.31 higher with a weighted average of $111.71; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.41 higher with a weighted average of $110.83.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $2 lower at $64. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 lower with moderate demand for light offerings at $55 to $65.  Barrow and gilt prices were firm with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $67 to $75.  Boars ranged from $40 to $45 and $15 to $18. 

Pork values closed higher – up $1.06 at $114.70.  Loins, hams, picnics were all higher.  Ribs were firm.  Butts and bellies were lower.    

Estimated hog slaughter is 481,000 head – up 7,000 on the week and up 119,000 on the year.

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