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Cattle futures lower on profit-taking

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day lower on profit-taking.  Feeders had additional pressure from the day’s mostly higher move in corn.  April              live cattle closed $.72 higher at $123.42 and June live cattle closed $2.45 higher at $122.57.  April feeder cattle closed $2.37 higher at $144.75 and May feeder cattle closed $1.97 higher at $149.62. 

A quiet end to the week for direct cash cattle trade.  It was an active week of business with Southern live deals ranging from $118 to $122, mostly $121, $4 higher than the previous week’s weighted averages.  Northern dressed business had a range of $192 to $196, mostly $195 to $196, $5 to $6 higher than the prior week’s weighted averages. 

At the Apache Livestock Auction in Oklahoma, compared to last week feeder steers were $1 to $4 higher and feeder heifers were $2 to $3 higher. Steer calves were $5 to $6 higher and heifer calves were $1 to $6 higher.  The USDA says quality was good to attractive with very good demand.  Feeder supply included 52 percent steers and 65 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 669 to 698 pounds brought $143.50 to $157 and feeder steers 774 to      797 pounds brought $138.50 to $147.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 601 to 645 pounds brought $135 to $140.50 and feeder heifers 701 to 747 pounds brought $125 to $133. 

There were just a few reported sales this past week at the South Dakota Hay Market.  All alfalfa hay was steady.  The USDA says demand for alfalfa was moderate and the best demand remains for out-of-state dairies for large squares of higher testing alfalfa.  There’s light demand from in-state buyers as the mild winter limited the need for supplemental hay feeding.  Alfalfa good large rounds brought $140 and $160 delivered.  Large squares brought $180 to $185. 

In Nebraska, alfalfa, grass hay, and ground and delivered forages were all steady.  Dehy alfalfa pellets and sun-cured alfalfa pellets were steady.  Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $110 and good large squares brought $175.  Ground alfalfa brought $140.  In the East part of the state, Alfalfa, premium small squares brought $7.50.  Alfalfa pellets 15% protein brought $290 and sun-cured pellets 17% protein brought $320.  In the Platte Valley area, alfalfa good large rounds brought $110 to $115.  Ground alfalfa brought $140 to $145.  Pellets 15% protein brought $280 to $290.  In the West, alfalfa, good large rounds brought $175 and larges squares brought $190. 

Boxed beef closed higher on good demand for light offerings.  Choice closed $1.67 higher at $272.17 and Select closed $.24 higher at $264.07.  The Choice/Select spread is $8.10.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 111,000 head – up 6,000 on the week and up 24,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 66,000 head, up 33,000 on the week and up 35,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day higher, supported by ongoing demand optimism and the higher pork values.  April lean hogs ended the day unchanged at $103.47 and May lean hogs closed $.95 higher at $106.37. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a solid negotiated run.  All eyes remain on the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  Packers were aggressive Friday afternoon in their procurement efforts.  Prices have also been supported recently by the strong demand for US pork on the global market and domestically.  That’s expected to continue.  Daily slaughter runs have been running relatively high.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.80 higher with a base range of $94 to $103 and a weighted average of $100.21; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.37 higher with a weighted average of $101.62; the Western Corn Belt closed $.30 higher with a weighted average of $101.42.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

According to the USDA’s Feeder Pig report, all early-weaned pigs were steady and all feeder pigs were steady to $2 per head lower.  Demand was moderate for moderate offerings and receipts included 49 percent formulated prices.  The Total Composite cash range for early-weaned pigs was $42 to $58 and a weighted average of $53.62.  The Total Composite formula rage for early-weaned pigs was $35.54 to $58.31 and an average of $45.22.  The Weighted average for all early-weaned pigs is $49.18 and the average for all feeder pigs was $98.72. 

The Midwest cash markets are closed today.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were weak with moderate demand for light to moderate offerings at $68 to $80.  Barrow and gilt prices were steady with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $65 to $70.  Boars ranged from $30 to $40 and $12 to $20. 

Pork values closed higher – up $2.17 at $113.17.  Loins, bellies, and butts were all sharply higher.  Ribs and picnics were higher.  Hams were sharply lower.  Estimated hog slaughter is 485,000 head – up 37,000 on the week and up 55,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 209,000 head, that’s up 150,000 on the week and up 145,000 on the year. 

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