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Cattle, hog futures start the week higher

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day higher following Friday’s On Feed numbers.  December live cattle closed $1.90 higher at $110 and February live cattle closed $2.25 higher at $112.90.  January feeder cattle closed $3.22 higher at $137.82 and March feeder cattle closed $2.90 higher at $137.27. 

A slow start to the week for direct cash cattle trade, but business is expected to develop early given the Thanksgiving holiday.  Showlists this week are larger across all feeding areas.  Bids have started to surface at $110 live.  Asking prices have been a little slower to develop. 

At Midsession at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week, feeder steers and heifers are $2 to $4 higher on a light test.  Steer and heifer calves are $2 to $5 higher.  The USDA says demand was moderate.  Receipts are down on the week and up on the year.  Feeder supply included 55 percent steers and 49 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 564 to 588 pounds brought $149 to $158 and feeder steers 710 to 742 pounds brought $134 to $145.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 421 to 445 pounds brought $154 to $161 and feeder heifers 703 to 740 pounds brought $127.50 to $136. 

Boxed beef closed higher on good demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $3.25 higher at $241.60 and Select closed $2.50 higher at $217.48.  The Choice/Select spread is $24.12.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and even on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day higher ahead of the USDA’s Cold Storage report with additional support from the higher pork values during the session.  December lean hogs closed $.82 higher at $64.95 and February lean hogs closed $1.77 higher at $67.12. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a solid negotiated run.  Look for big runs early this week ahead of the Thursday holiday.  Supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts are more than ample and slaughter runs continue to push higher.  That helps keep the supply chains moving and prevents more hogs from being backed up in the production system, but it also adds more pork to an already saturated market.  The industry remains optimistic demand for US pork will continue to hold in both the global and domestic markets.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.50 lower with a base range of $50 to $59.50 for a weighted average of $58.33; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.70 lower with a weighted average of $57.90; the Western Corn Belt closed $.64 lower with a weighted average of $57.98; prices at the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $58.59.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $42.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 to $4 lower with moderate to good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $28 to $41.  Barrow and gilt prices were weak with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $36 to $42.  Boars ranged from $15 to $19 and $5 to $8. 

Pork values closed weak – down $.40 at $77.77.  Hams were sharply lower.  Ribs and loins were lower.  Butts and bellies were sharply higher and picnics closed higher. 

Estimated hog slaughter is 497,000 head – up 20,000 on the week and up 4,000 on the year. 

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