Cattle, hog futures mixed to end the week
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were mixed, mostly higher adjusting spreads. February live cattle closed $.97 higher at $137.97 and April live cattle closed $1.15 higher at $142.12. March feeders were $.35 lower at $166.37 and April feeder cattle were $.12 lower at $170.35.
It was a relatively quiet end to the week for direct cash cattle trade. A few scattered deals were reported Friday afternoon at $135 live and $218 to $220 dressed. Deals for the week were at $134 to $137, mostly $136 to $137 live, generally $2 lower than the prior week’s weighted averages. Dressed deals in the North were at mostly $218, $2 lower than the previous week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.
At the Ogallala Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared to last week, steers were steady to $8 higher. Heifers were $5 to $10 higher. The USDA says demand was good on a good offering. Receipts were up on the week and down on the year. Feeder supply included 53% steers and 60% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 550 to 589 pounds brought $193 to $210.25 and feeder steers 650 to 698 pounds brought $170 to $187. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 605 to 649 pounds brought $148.50 to $167 and feeder heifers 657 to 677 pounds brought $147 to $160.
In South Dakota, compared to last week all classes of hay were steady. The USDA says demand was good to very good for all types and qualities of hay. Demand for straw was also good as well as corn stalk bales. Many producers are sourcing corn stalk bales to grind and blend the stalks to lessen forage costs. Alfalfa, supreme large rounds brought $250 and alfalfa, large squares brought $250. Alfalfa, good large squares brought $225. Grass, premium large rounds brought $170. Grass, fair large rounds brought $145 to $160. Corn stalks, round bales brought $50 to $70.
Boxed beef closed higher on solid demand for light offerings. Choice closed $1.45 higher at $284.31 and Select closed $1.21 higher at $273.97. The Choice/Select spread is $10.34. Estimated cattle slaughter is 113,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and down 2,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 53,000 head – down 5,000 on the week and down 8,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures closed mixed, mostly higher, on spread adjustment. February lean hogs closed $3.05 higher at $80.90 and April lean hogs closed $3.12 higher at $88.45.
Cash hogs closed sharply lower with a fairly light negotiated run. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts. Demand for US pork on the global market has been strong, at least for now. However, there are long-term demand concerns, which has been putting pressure on prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.49 lower with a base range of $62 to $74 and a weighted average of $63.84; both the Iowa/Minnesota and the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $72.34. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
According to this week’s Feeder Pig Report from the USDA, early-weaned pigs were $2 per head higher and all feeder pigs were $5 per head higher. Demand was moderate for moderate offerings and receipts included 60% formulated prices. The Total Composite cash range for early-weaned pig was $53 to $73 with a weighted average of $67.02 and the Total Composite formula range was $45.50 to $71.50. The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $59.49 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $87.18.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $44. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for light to moderate offerings at $31 to $54. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $40 to $46. Boars were $20 to $25 and $10 to $15.
Pork values closed sharply lower – down $6.21 at $89.07. Hams dropped more than $18, picnics, loins, and bellies were all sharply lower. Ribs and butts were higher to sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 438,000 head – down 15,000 on the week and up 59,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 174,000 head, down 88,000 on the week and down 114,000 on the year.