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Cattle futures supported by higher cash business

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were supported by the week’s stronger direct cash cattle business.  June live cattle closed $2.05 higher at $138.62 and August live cattle closed $1.97 higher at $140.15.  May feeder cattle closed $1.70 higher at $162.47 and August feeder cattle closed $2.202 higher at $173.47. 

There was a very light, scattered direct cash cattle trade reported on Wednesday’s following Tuesday’s active day.  At a Nebraska regional, live deals were marked at $146 and dressed business at $236.  Both were well above the week’s previous business and last week’s weighted average basis.  A little more trade is likely to develop over the balance of the week.  On Tuesday there was a light to moderate trade that took place in the South at $139 to $141, mostly $140, which is $1 higher than last week’s weighted averages.  There was also a scattered, light trade reported late in the day in the North at $230 to $232, mostly $230, $4 higher than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange had an offering of 3,052 head with 641 head sold.  In Texas, 571 head sold at $135 to $140.25, and in California, 70 head sold at $134.

At the Ozarks Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to last week steer and heifer calves were steady to $4 higher with spots of $6 higher.  The USDA says demand was good on a light supply.  Quality was above average even though the supply was light.  Receipts were up slightly on the week, but down on the year.  Feeder supply included 42% steers and 34% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 501 to 535 pounds brought $196 to $209 and feeder steers 610 to 631 pounds brought $182 to $194.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 500 to 545 pounds brought $156 to $166 and feeder heifers 603 to 648 pounds brought $152 to $162.

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $1.11 lower at $268.82 and Select closed $2.68 lower at $256.53.  The Choice/Select spread is $12.29. Estimated cattle slaughter 125,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 5,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mostly lower on spread trade and long-term demand uncertainties.  May lean hogs closed $2.22 lower at $112.47 and June lean hogs closed $2.57 lower at $118.75. 

Cash hog closed mixed with a moderate negotiated run.  Processors weren’t too aggressive in their procurement efforts on Wednesday and didn’t have to bid up to move desired numbers.  The industry is keeping a close eye on the availability of market-ready hogs.  Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong.  However, there are long-term concerns and that’s adding pressure to prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.41 higher with a base range of $94 to $111 and a weighted average of $101.98; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.04 lower with a weighted average of $107.73; the Western Corn Belt closed $.44 lower with a weighted average of $107.87.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $80.

Pork values closed higher– up $1.37 at $108.49.  Picnics, hams, ribs, and bellies were higher to sharply higher.  Butts and loins were lower. Estimated hog slaughter 483,000 head – up 5,000 on the week and down 5,000 on the year. 

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