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Cattle futures mixed ahead of On Feed numbers

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were mixed on position squaring ahead of Friday’s On Feed numbers from the USDA.  The report, overall, looks bearish.  June live cattle closed $1.47 lower at $138.42 and August live cattle closed $1.20 lower at $140.37.  May feeder cattle closed $.97 lower at $163.87 and August feeder cattle closed $.45 higher at $176.90. 

It was a quiet Friday for direct cash cattle trade activity following the active trade earlier in the week. Live deals in the South were at $139 to $141, mostly $140, $1 higher than the previous week’s business.  Dressed deals in the North ranged from $228 to $236, mostly $230, $4 higher than the prior week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  Deals in Colorado were at $145, $3 higher than last week’s weighted averages. 

At the Ogallala Livestock Auction in Nebraska, the was no recent comparison available.  But the USDA says demand was moderate to good. There was a nice selection of grass cattle and feeders on offer.  Feeder supply included 57% steers and 66% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 650 to 691 pounds brought $172.50 to $191 and feeder steers 761 to 799 pounds brought $160.50 to $174.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 551 to 592 pounds brought $164 to $182.50 and feeder heifers 652 to 684 pounds brought $154.50 to $174.50. 

In Missouri, hay fields and pastures are growing well despite below average temperatures.  Hay business is slowing for the year, but producers are concerned about where new crop prices might head given the rise in input costs and extremely higher grain prices.  Hay supplies are moderate, and demand is light to moderate.  Prices are steady.  Alfalfa, supreme, medium squares brought $200 to $250.  Alfalfa, supreme, small squares brought $8 to $12 per bale.  Alfalfa, premium, medium squares brought $160 to $200.  Alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $120 to $160.  Alfalfa, good, small squares brought $5 to $9.  Alfalfa, fair, large rounds brought $100 to $125.  Alfalfa/Grass mix, good/premium, small squares brought $6 to $8.  Mixed grass, good/premium large rounds brought $80 to $140. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for light offerings.  Choice down $2.26 at $267.91 and Select closed $.91 lower at $254.77.  The Choice/Select spread is $13.14. 

Estimated cattle slaughter 119,000 head – up 5,000 on the week and the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 63,000 head – up 39,000 on the week and down 8,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures were mostly higher, supported by higher pork values during the session.  May lean hogs closed $1 higher at $111.85 and June lean hogs closed $1.69 higher at $118.77. 

Cash hogs closed sharply lower with a light negotiated run. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs.  Processors weren’t aggressive in their procurement efforts at the end of the week.  Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong, but long-term demand concerns do add instability to the price picture. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $6.91 lower with a base range of $95 to $110 and a weighted average of $99.13; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $4.55 lower with a weighted average of $104.62; the Western Corn Belt closed $5.46 lower with a weighted average of $103.72. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

According to the USDA’s latest Feeder Pig Report, early-weaned pigs were $4 lower and feeder pigs were $2.50 lower.  Demand was light on light to moderate offerings.  Trade was slow to moderate and receipts included 47% formulated prices.  The Total Composite Cash Range for early-weaned pigs was $43 to $70.50 with a weighted average of $59.15 and the Total Composite Formula Range was $42.04 to $70.35 and a weighted average of $53.09.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $55.32 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $102.57. 

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $72 to $85.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $60 to $69.  Boars ranged from $38 to $42 and $20 to $25. 

Pork values closed higher – up $1.08 at $111.28.  Loins, hams, butts, and bellies were all higher.  Picnics and ribs were lower to sharply lower.  Estimated hog slaughter 463,000 – up 28,000 on the week and down 12,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 114,000 head – up 53,000 on the year. 

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