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Cattle futures mixed watching cash, corn trade

Live cattle futures closed higher Thursday watching cash business. Feeders were mixed on strengthening corn prices. December lives closed $1.65 higher at $137.65 and February lives are 97 cents higher at $139.57. January feeder cattle closed five cents lower $165.77 while March feeders gained 42 cents at $168.32.

A light direct cash cattle trade developed on Thursday. Northern dressed deals came in at mostly $220, $3 higher than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. Southern live deals were mostly at $142, also $3 higher than last week’s weighted averages.

Boxed beef cutout values closed higher. Choice is $1.80 higher at $272.02 and select is 28 cents higher at $258.25.

At the Bassett Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared to the last test, feeder steers 450 to 650 pounds traded $5 to $19 higher. Heifers were $5 to $7 on a limited offering. USDA says demand was very good with several bidders. Receipts were sharply higher on the week and year. Feeder supply included 76 percent steers and 63 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers weighing 557 to 589 pounds brought $183 to $211 and feeder steers from 651 to 699 brought $170 to $180.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers weighing 501 to 546 pounds brought $160.50 to $175.50 and feeder heifers from 600 to 649 brought $149 to $157.

Estimated cattle slaughter is 123,000 head, there is no comparison on the week because of Thanksgiving but was up 3,000 head on the year.

Lean hog futures were supported by strength in pork values. December hogs closed 77 cents higher at $74.40 and the February contract closed $1.87 higher at $82.

Cash hogs closed higher on moderate negotiated purchases. Processors continue to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs and have had to work a little harder this week to move their desired numbers.  Demand for US pork on the global market has been strong, which is expected to continue.  However, there are some long-term demand concerns, which has added pressure to prices.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct are $2.19 higher at $57.87. The Iowa/Minnesota has a weighted average of $61; the Western Cornbelt a weighted average of $60.94; the Eastern Cornbelt was not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets are $2 lower at $58.

Pork values closed sharply higher, up $5.72 at $88.09. Hams and bellies are sharply higher, butts and ribs are higher, picnics and loins are lower.

Estimated hog slaughter is 480,000 head, there is no comparison on the week because of Thanksgiving but down 11,000 head on the year.

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