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Cattle, hog futures lower head into Friday

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were lower with feeders leading the way on the higher corn.  June live cattle closed $1.92 lower at $131.65 and August live cattle closed $1.87 lower at $132.77.  August feeder cattle closed $3.47 lower at $166.52 and September feeder cattle closed $3.50 lower at $169.67.  

Direct cash cattle trade activity was quiet on Thursday following Tuesday and Wednesday’s business.  It’s likely the bulk of the week’s trade has wrapped up, but some deals could trickle in before the end of the week.  Asking prices for cattle left on showlists are around $140-plus live in the South and $232 dressed in the North.  So far this week live deals have been at mostly $140, fully steady with last week’s business and dressed deals around $230, slightly lower than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. 

At the Mitchell Livestock Auction in South Dakota, compared to last week steers up to 850 pounds were unevenly steady, and steers 850 to 900 pounds were $3 higher.  Steers 900 pounds on up that were $2 to $3 lower.  Heifers up to 700 pounds were unevenly steady and heifers 700 pounds and up were $2 lower.  The USDA says demand was good with many large load lots in the day’s offering.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 46% steers and 91% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 903 to 938 pounds brought $143.50 to $148.75 and feeder steers 961 to 984 pounds brought $147.25 to $147.85.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 900 to 943 pounds brought $134.25 to $137 and feeder heifers 953 to 998 pounds brought $133 to $135.85. 

Boxed beef closed higher on strong demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $2.12 higher at $257.20 and Select closed $2.18 higher at $244.36.  The Choice/Select spread is $12.84.  Estimated cattle slaughter 124,000 head – even on the week and up 9,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures were pressured by demand uncertainties.  June lean hogs closed $3.37 lower at $97.47 and July lean hogs closed $3.70 lower at $97.85.

Cash hogs closed mixed with a fairly light negotiated run.  Processors weren’t too aggressive in their procurement efforts and are able to move their desired numbers at much lower prices.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs.  There is long-term demand uncertainty for US pork on the global market that is creating additional pressure on prices. 

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.93 lower with a base range of $101 to $116 and a weighted average of $106.36; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.62 higher with a weighted average of $113.14; the Western Corn Belt closed $.14 higher at $112.75.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets

Pork values closed lower – down $.89 at $98.60. Ribs and butts were sharply lower.  Hams and bellies were lower.  Picnics and loins were higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 477,000 head- down 1,000 on the week and down 4,000 on the year.  Wednesday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 476,000 head. 

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