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Cattle futures mixed ahead of week’s direct trade

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were mixed ahead of widespread direct business.  October live cattle closed $.62 higher at $103.97 and December live cattle closed $.17 lower at $103.40.  October feeder cattle closed $.17 higher at $133.70 and November feeder cattle closed $.92 higher at $130.57. 

Direct cash cattle trade activity is quiet to start the week.  Bids and asking prices have yet to be established.  Showlists are about steady in Texas, higher in Kansas and in Nebraska/Colorado.  Look for significant trade volume to be delayed until midweek or later. 

At the close, at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week, feeder steers and heifers sold mostly $3 to $5 lower on limited comparable sales.  There were too few sales on calves for an accurate test, however, a lower undertone was noted.  The USDA says demand was moderate and quality was average.  The cold front that moved in across the trade area limited this week’s business.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 54 percent steers and 61 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 667 to 696 pounds brought $127 to $131.75 and feeder steers 707 to 744 pounds brought $120 to $125.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 605 to 644 pounds brought $121 to $125 and feeder heifers 820 to 834 pounds brought $113 to $120. 

Boxed beef closed mixed with light to moderate demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $.34 higher at $207.83 and Select closed $2.91 lower at $188.49.  The Choice/Select spread is $19.34. 

Estimated cattle slaughter is 118,000 head – even on the week and up 2,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed higher, supported by higher midday pork values and demand optimism.  December lean hogs closed $.72 higher at $67.76 and February lean hogs closed $.72 higher at $67.65. 

Cash hogs closed sharply higher with moderate negotiated purchases.  Packers bid up to move more numbers Monday afternoon.  There are a few things that the industry continues to watch.  One of those is the domestic supply and demand situation.  The industry remains optimistic demand for US pork will continue to see a big boost on the global market, which is supportive to prices.  But concerns linger about the heavy supplies and the ability for demand to keep up with the amount of pork coming online.  The availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample and processors continue to push daily slaughter totals higher adding more pork to the market.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $3.59 higher with a base range of $59 to $64.50 for a weighted average of $62.30; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $3.55 higher for a weighted average of $62.69; the Western Corn Belt closed $3.44 higher with a weighted average of $62.57.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality  

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady with last week at $38.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 higher with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $23 to $37.  Barrow and gilt prices were weak with moderate to good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $37 to $43.  Boras ranged from $5 to $7. 

Pork values closed lower – down $1.39 at $91.86.  Bellies closed sharply lower.  Hams were lower and ribs were weak.  Butts were firm.  Picnics and hams were higher to sharply higher.  Estimated hog slaughter is 492,000 head – up 15,000 on the week and up 1,000 on the year.  Saturday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 237,000 head. 

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