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Cattle, hog futures end the week higher

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day higher on oversold signals with support by the recent gains in boxed beef prices.  February live cattle closed $.70 higher at $112.77 and April live cattle closed $.97 higher at $118.20.  January feeder cattle closed $1.97 higher at $134.57 and March feeder cattle closed $2.45 higher at $135.82. 

A slow end to the week for direct cash cattle trade, as the bulk of the week’s business took place midweek.  Southern live deals were at mostly $110 to $111, which was $1 to $2 lower than the prior week’s weighted averages.  Northern dressed deals were mostly at $172 to $173, about $4 lower than last week’s weighted basis in Nebraska. 

At the Ogallala Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared to last week steers were $2 to $6 lower and heifers were $3 to $11 lower.  The USDA says demand was moderate to good.  There were a lot of good quality cattle on offer.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 52 percent steers and 58 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 650 to 695 pounds brought $140 to $156.50 and feeder steers 704 to 746 pounds brought $136 to $146.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 503 to 542 pounds brought $150 to $167.50 and feeder heifers 601 to 641 pounds brought $134 to $147.50. 

At the Nebraska Hay Market, compared to last week, most hay was steady except in the western part of the state where large squares of alfalfa sold steady to $10 higher.  The USDA says demand for large squares that are easily transported out of state was very good.  Demand for rounds and other rough type hay was good.  In Central Nebraska, large rounds brought $120. Good Alfalfa, large rounds $95 to $100 and large squares brought $150 to $175.  Ground alfalfa brought $135.  Alfalfa/Orchard mix brought $115.  In Eastern Nebraska, good Alfalfa brought $105.  Alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $75.  Brome grass, good large rounds brought $100 and small squares brought $7.50.  In the Platte Valley area, Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $100 to $110 and large squares brought $170.  Ground Alfalfa brought $140.  Alfalfa pellets 15% brought $245 and dehy pellets 17% protein brought $280 to $285.  Alfalfa, supreme large squares brought $200 to $225. 

Boxed beef closed mixed on moderate to good demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $.45 lower at $212.92 and Select closed $2.01 higher at $203.08.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 115,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and even on the year.  Saturday’s estimated cattle slaughter is 67,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 42,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed higher, supported by the sharply higher wholesale values during the session.  February lean hogs closed $1.62 higher at $67.92 and April lean hogs closed $.57 higher at $72.65. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a fairly light negotiated run.  The availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample, and processors continue to push daily slaughter totals higher.  And while that’s keeping the supply chain moving and helping prevent more hogs from backing up in the production system, it’s also adding to the supply.  This comes at a time when demand, both globally and domestically, face uncertainty.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.26 lower with a base range of $44 to $55 with a weighted average of $52.72; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.39 lower with a weighted average of $54.30; the Western Corn Belt closed $.32 lower with a  weighted average of $54.19; the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $52.10.

According to this week’s Feeder Pigs Report, early-weaned pigs were 2 per head higher and all feeder pigs were $3 per head lower on light receipts.  The USDA says demand was good for light offerings and receipts included 35 percent formulated prices.  The Total Composite cash range was $44 to $65 with an average of $59.54.  The Total Composite Formula Range was $40.32 to $62.56 with a weighted average of $49.09.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $55.60 and the average for all feeder pigs was $65.12. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $39. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with good demand for moderate offerings at $29 to $42.  Barrow and gilt prices were steady with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $31 to $38.  Boars ranged from $15 to $20 and $4 to $10. 

Pork values closed lower – down $.48 at $80.07.  Bellies and hams were sharply lower.  Ribs closed lower.  Picnics and butts closed sharply higher.  Loins were higher.  Estimated hog slaughter is 386,000 head – down 101,000 on the week and down 52,000 on the year.  Thursday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 484,000 head.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 290,000 head – down 101,000 on the week and up 221,000 on the year. 

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