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Cattle futures mixed ahead of On Feed numbers

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day mixed ahead of Friday’s Cattle on Feed report.  October live cattle closed $.05 lower at $123.22 and December live cattle closed $.07 higher at $128.62.  September feeder cattle closed $.10 higher at $154.90 and October feeder cattle closed $.82 lower at $156.85. 

It was a quiet Thursday for direct cash cattle trade activity following the light to moderate business that took place at midweek.  It’s likely the bulk of the week’s trade has wrapped up, but some cleanup deals could still take place on Friday.  Asking prices for cattle left on showlists is $125 live in the South and $200 dressed in the North.  Deals in the North had a wide range – from $193 to $198, mostly $198, which is $1 lower than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  Live deals in the South were at $123 to $124, generally steady with the prior week’s business. 

At the Bassett Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared to two weeks ago steers 700 to 1000 pounds were steady to $4 lower.  There were no comparable offerings of heifers.  The USDA says demand was good for several load lots of home-raised offerings.  Receipts were up from two weeks ago and on the year.  Feeder supply included 78% steers and 99% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 907 to 935 pounds brought $150 to $158.25 and feeder steers 960 to 981 pounds brought $146.50 to $157.25.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 820 to 841 pounds brought $157.25 to $159.50 and feeder heifers 871 pounds brought $156. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for solid offerings.  Choice closed $2.23 lower at $305.60 and Select closed $.51 lower at $274.99.  The Choice/Select spread is $30.61. Estimated cattle slaughter is 114,000 head – down 6,000 on the week and down 8,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day higher ahead of Friday’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report.  There was also additional support from the sharply higher pork values during the session.  October lean hogs closed $.90 higher at $84.75 and December lean hogs closed $3.12 higher at $76.50. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a fairly light negotiated run. Processors have been able to move their desired numbers recently without having to bid up.  They continue to watch the availability of market-ready hogs.  Demand for US pork has been strong on the global market and domestically, and while it isn’t expected to change anytime soon, there are some long-term demand concerns. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.63 lower with a base range of $74 to $78 and a weighted average of $76.53; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $76.68 and the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $76.55.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash market were steady at $60. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were mostly $1 lower with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $52 to $68.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $45 to $55.  Boars ranged from $25 to $30 and $15 to $20. 

Pork values closed lower – down $2.63 at $104.29.  Hams dropped more than $12.  Loins were also sharply lower.  Ribs, butts, bellies, and picnics were higher to sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 475,000 head – up 12,000 on the week and up 5,000 on the year. 

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