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Cattle futures lower waiting on direct cash business

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly lower, and feeders were lower, waiting for direct cash business to develop.  October live cattle closed 42 cents lower at $145.87 in December live cattle closed $.32 lower $150.75. October feeder cattle closed $.80 lower at $179.22 and November feeder cattle close $0.95 lower at $180.32.

Another really quiet day for direct cash cattle trade activity.  There were just a handful of deals reported in Nebraska and Iowa at $226 dressed, still not enough to establish an accurate trend for the week.  Business in the South remains in a standoff setting the stage for the bulk of the week’s business to take place Thursday or Friday. 

At the Kingsville Livestock Auction in Missouri, compared to last week steers were mostly $3 to $8 lower with spots of $10 lower with more backgrounded cattle carrying a little flesh than grass steers.  Heifers were mostly steady with a nice offering of 600 to 750 pounds.  The USDA says demand was good for the yearling heifers and moderate for most everything else.  Receipts were down on the week and up on the year.  Feeder supply included 35% steers and 74% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 701 to 726 pounds brought $175.75 to $182.50 and feeder steers 757 to 776 pounds brought $171.50 to $179.25.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 651 to 683 pounds brought $179 to $184 and feeder heifers 709 to 724 pounds brought $173 to $177.50. 

Boxed beef closed lower with light demand for heavy offerings.  Choice closed $2.51 lower at $249.13 and Select closed $1.09 lower at $226.14.  The Choice/Select spread is $22.99. Estimated cattle slaughter 127,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and up 7,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day lower, pressured by sharply lower pork values.  October lean hogs close $1.55 lower at $94.42 and December lean hogs close at dollar 72 lower at $86.45.

Cash hogs closed higher with a big negotiated run.  Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong, helping provide much-needed price support.  For the most part, processors haven’t had to get aggressive in their procurement efforts to move their desired numbers.  But there have been some one-off days when prices have been higher and there have been very large negotiated runs.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs and is looking ahead to next week’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report.  Hog weights this week was 279.6 pounds, down 0.4 pounds on the week and down 2 pounds on the year. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.98 higher with a base range of $82 to $105 with a weighted average of $98.15; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.99 higher with a weighted average of $100.98; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.03 higher with a weighted average of $100.98; the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $95.14.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $66. 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 $61 to $70.  Boars ranged from $39 to $41 and $9 to $19. 

Pork values closed sharply lower – down $4.60 at $100.35.  Bellies dropped $19.  Picnics, loins, ribs, and hams were all sharply lower.  Butts were higher. Estimated hog slaughter 484,000 head – even on the week and up 14,000 on the year. 

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