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Cattle futures lower ahead of on feed numbers

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were mostly lower ahead of Friday’s On Feed numbers.  The report, overall is neutral to the markets.  October live cattle closed $.60 lower at $144.25 and December live cattle closed $.80 lower at $148.55.  October feeder cattle closed $.37 higher $178.35 and feeder cattle closed $.20 higher at $178.25. 

It was a quiet Friday for direct cash cattle business following the active day on Thursday.  For the week, Northern dressed deals were marked at mostly $228, $1 higher than the previous week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  Southern live deals were at mostly $143, $1 higher than the prior week’s weighted averages. 

At the Ogallala Livestock Auction, the USDA says demand was good to moderate with a large crowd on hand and online.  Receipts were up from two weeks ago.  Feeder supply included 50% steers and 62% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 806 to 844 pounds brought $180 to $188.50 and feeder steers 910 to 941 pounds brought $190 to $197.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 703 to 745 pounds brought $172.75 to $183 and feeder heifers 763 to 799 pounds brought $168.50 to $177.50. 

In South Dakota, compared to last week alfalfa and grass hay remain firm.  The USDA says demand was good for all types of hay and qualities of hay, especially for high testing dairy quality as the delayed first cutting, then more drought resulted in much-reduced tonnage.  The third cutting was very light in some areas.  Alfalfa, supreme, large squares brought $250 to $270.  Alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $210.  Large squares brought $235.  Alfalfa, fair, large rounds, brought $190.  Alfalfa/grass mix, large squares brought $200. 

Boxed beef closed mixed with light demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $.23 higher at $248.63 and Select closed $2.80 lower at $219.31.  The Choice/Select spread is $29.32. Estimated cattle slaughter was 125,000 head – up 7,000 on the week and up 14,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 33,000 head – down 12,000 on the week and down 22,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures were pressured by sharply lower cash and wholesale business.  October lean hogs closed $1.50 lower at $92.62.  December lean hogs closed $2.87 lower at $82.80. 

Cash hogs closed sharply lower with a light negotiated run.  Processors haven’t been interested in moving big numbers right now.  There are likely a couple of factors.  One of those is long-term demand concerns. While demand has been holding strong, there are worries it could trail off, especially as concerns are rising about slowing global economies.  Supply and demand is also a factor here and the industry is looking forward to next week’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report from the USDA for better indication of the supply situation in the hog sector. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $7.69 lower with a base range of $84 to $105 and a weighted average of $86.34; the Iowa/Minnesota and the Western Corn Belt closed $4.63 lower with a weighted average of $96.67.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.

According to the USDA’s Weekly Feeder Pig Report, compared to last week, early-weaned pigs were $2 per head lower and feeder pigs were $6 per head lower.  The USDA says demand remains light.  The Total Composite cash range was $20 to $44 with a weighted average of $35.67.  The Total Composite Formula Range was $37.20 to $53.26 with a weighted average of $44.13.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $41.39 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $54. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $66. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with light to moderate demand for light to moderate offerings at $58 to $70.  Barrows and gilts were $1 lower with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $60 ot $69.  Boars ranged from $39 to $41 and $9 to $19. 

Pork values closed lower, down $2.95 at $100.93.  Bellies dropped more than $15.  Butts, loins, and picnics were lower to sharply lower.  Hams were higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 475,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and up 3,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 134,000 head – up 59,000 on the week and down 103,000 on the year. 

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