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Cattle, hog futures mixed on Tuesday

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were mixed waiting for direct cash business to develop.  December live cattle closed $0.25 higher at $153.80 and February lives closed $.30 lower at $156.42.  January feeder cattle closed $.95 lower at $181.67 and March feeder cattle closed $.52 cents lower at $184.57.

It was another quiet day for direct cash cattle business.  Prices will likely push higher again as supplies are expected to tighten.  A few bids surfaced in the North at $242 to $245 dressed, however, the rest of cattle country was quiet.  Asking prices in the South were at $154 to $155 live, with nothing coming out of the North.  Significant trade volume will likely take place on Wednesday. 

At the Tri-State Livestock Auction in Nebraska, steers and heifers were $3 to $5 higher on comparable offerings.  The USDA says demand was good throughout the day.  Receipts were down slightly on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 50% steers and 23% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 439 to 444 pounds brought $240 to $255 and feeder steers 527 to 539 pounds brought $205 to $223.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 466 to 498 pounds brought $183.50 to $197 and feeder heifers 898 pounds brought $172. 

Boxed beef closed higher on solid demand for solid offerings.  Choice closed $1.06 higher at $256.63 and Select closed $.95 higher at $234.18.  The Choice/Select spread is $22.45. Estimated cattle slaughter was 129,000 head – even on the week and up 5,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mixed ahead of cold storage numbers.  December lean hogs closed 45 cents higher at $84.25 and February lean hogs close seven cents lower at $90.07.

Cash hogs closed higher with a solid negotiated run.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs and the demand picture.  There are growing concerns that a slowing global economy could weaken demand for US pork and ultimately lower prices.  The pattern recently has been a few days of big runs at sharply higher prices sandwiched between a couple of days of lower prices with lighter runs.  That appears to be the case this week. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $3.14 higher with a base range of $80 to $88 with a weighted average of $85.30; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.18 higher with a weighted average of $87.45; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.36 higher with a weighted average of $87.36; the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $84.03.

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 lower with light demand for light offerings at $52 to $64.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $58 to $68.  Boars ranged from $30 to $35 and $9 to $19.

Pork values closed lower, down $.69 at $91.30.  Picnics, butts, and loins are all lower.  Hams are about steady.  Ribs and bellies are higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 492,000 head – down 3,000 on the week and up 11,000 on the year. 

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