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Cattle futures mostly lower ahead of Friday’s On Feed numbers

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were down and feeders were mostly lower with the USDA’s on feed numbers out Friday.  October live cattle closed $.97 lower at $124.97 and December live cattle closed $.97 lower at $129.55.  October feeder cattle closed $.32 higher at $156.25 and November feeder cattle closed $.27 lower ta $159.07. 

A light, scattered direct cash cattle trade took place on Thursday. Deals were at $124 live and $196 dressed, fully steady with the week’s previous business.  Asking prices for cattle left on showlists are around $126 plus live in the South and $198 plus dressed in the North, look for those to be restated on Friday.  A little clean-up trade could still take place on Friday.  Southern live deals have been marked at mostly $124, while Northern dressed trade was at mostly $196.  Both are fully steady with the prior week’s weighted averages.  Thursday’s special Fed Cattle Exchange had an offering 2,430 head of which none actually sold. 

At the Huss City Livestock Market in Nebraska, compared to last week steer calves and yearling steers were steady.  Heifer calves were steady with yearling heifers steady to $2 higher.  The USDA says demand was good from start to finish for calves and yearlings.  The bulk of calves had preconditioned shots.  Receipts were up from the previous week and on the year.  Feeder supply included 70% steers and 68% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 650 to 689 pounds brought $163 to $174 and feeder steers 804 to 842 pounds brought $156.50 to $167.25.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 556 to 591 pounds brought $148 to $155.50 and feeder heifers 802 to 845 pounds brought $146 to $157.50. 

Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $.63 higher at $280.66 and Select closed $.08 lower at $262.72.  The Choice/Select spread is $17.94. Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and up 2,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures were pressured by the bearish export numbers and steady to lower cash.  December lean hogs closed $2.82 lower at $73.20 and February lean hogs closed $2.55 lower at $76.67. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a solid negotiated run.  Supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts are more than ample and the industry continues to move their desired numbers at lower prices.  Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong, which is expected to continue, at least for now.  But there are long-term demand concerns. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.50 lower with a base range of $64 to $68.50 with a weighted average of $65.43; the Iowa/Minnesota closed with a weighted average of $66.87; the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $66.97.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady in Dorchester, Wisconsin and Garnavillo, Iowa at $60.  Walker, Iowa is at $57 to $74. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $48 to $58.  Barrows and gilts were steady with good demand for moderate offerings at $40 to $48.  Boars ranged from $20 to $25 and $9 to $15. 

Pork values closed higher – up $1.41 at $98.28.  Bellies were sharply higher.  Butts and picnics were higher.  Ribs, loins, and hams were lower to sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 479,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and down 8,000 on the year. 

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