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Cattle futures lower to end the week

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly lower, and feeders were lower watching corn and any potential clean-up trade.  October live cattle closed $.85 lower at $143.27 and December live cattle closed $.72 lower at $147.05.  October feeder cattle closed $3.15 lower at $174.17 and November feeder cattle closed $3.20 lower at $174.62. 

It was a quiet Friday for direct cash cattle trade activity.  For the week, Northern dressed deals had a range of $225.60 to $230, mostly $228, $1 lower than the previous week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  Southern live deals were at mostly $143, fully steady with the prior week’s weighted averages. 

At the Herreid Livestock Market in South Dakota, compared to last week the best test was on steers 800 to 850 pounds were mostly steady.  Steers 900 to 1000 pounds were $2 to $3 lower.  Heifers were not well compared.  The USDA says demand for the offering of yearlings consisting of mostly strings and loads off grass was good.  Quality was more attractive than last week and there were a lot of quality cattle on offer.  Flesh was mostly light to moderate.  The market was active.  Receipts were up on the week.  Feeder supply included 82% steers and the entire offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 868 to 897 pounds brought $182.75 to $188.75 and feeder steers 950 to 991 pounds brought $164.75 to $176.25.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 910 to 947 pounds brought $161 to $169.50 and feeder heifers 952 to 999 pounds brought $160 to $167.

In South Dakota, compared to last week, alfalfa hay was steady with higher undertones.  The USDA says demand was very good for high-testing alfalfa, which has a very tight supply due to a cold, late spring and then the continuing drought.  Drought conditions have expanded exponentially across the region.  Demand for grass hay is solid as many producers are looking for hay to get calves started.  Alfalfa, supreme, large squares brought $270 to $300.  Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $210 and large squares brought $225 to $235.  Alfalfa, fair, large rounds brought $190.  Alfalfa/Grass mix, good, large squares brought $200.  Alfalfa/Grass mix, fair/good, large squares brought $200. 

Boxed beef ended the day mixed on light to moderate demand for light offerings.  Choice closed $2.33 lower at $243.75 and Select is $.35 higher at $220.13.  The Choice/Select spread is $23.61. Estimated cattle slaughter was 115,000 head – down 10,000 on the week and up 6,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 42,000 head – up 9,000 on the week and down 13,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mostly higher on spread trade and oversold signals.  October lean hogs closed $.22 lower at $89.22 and December lean hogs closed $.50 higher at $76.22.

Cash hogs closed mixed with a light negotiated run. Processors were aggressive earlier in the week and bid up to move their desired numbers.  Those procurement efforts have backed off in the latter half of the week.  Demand, overall, for US pork on the global market and domestically, has been strong, but there are long-term concerns as uncertainty remains about the global economy. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $3.27 lower with a base range of $80 to $95.50 with a weighted average of $85.08 and the Western Corn Belt closed $1.86 higher with a weighted average of $93.67.  Prices at the Iowa/Minnesota and the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

According to the USDA’s weekly Feeder Pig Report, early-weaned pigs were $2 per head lower and all feeder pigs were $1 per head lower.  The USDA says demand was light on a large offering.   The Total Composite cash range was $20 to $40 with a weighted average of $33.93 and the Total Composite formula range was $37.74 to $54.61 with a weighted average of $45.24.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $39.05 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $53.31. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $64. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $58 to $70.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $60 to $69.  Boars ranged from $39 to $41 and $9 to $19. 

Pork values closed lower – down $1.21 at $97.59.  Hams, ribs, bellies, and picnics were lower.  Butts and loins were higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 467,000 head – down 8,000 on the week and down 1,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 132,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and down 32,000 on the year. 

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