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Cattle, hog futures start the week sharply lower

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle closed sharply lower following Friday’s On Feed numbers and ahead of this week’s direct business.  June live cattle closed $3 lower at $135.42 and August live cattle closed $3.05 lower at $137.32.  May feeder cattle closed $2.57 lower at $161.30 and August feeder cattle closed $2.40 lower at $174.50. 

There was a light to moderate direct cash cattle trade reported on Monday as packers remain short-bought.  Live deals in the South were at $140 and in Nebraska at $145.  Dressed deals were marked at $225 to $228. While deals were below last week’s business, it wasn’t likely enough to establish a trend. Showlists this week are lower in Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado, but somewhat higher in Texas.  The bulk of the week’s business will take place Tuesday or Wednesday. 

At midsession, at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week feeder steers and heifers were unevenly steady.  Steer calves were $10 to $12 higher.  Heifer calves $2 to $5 higher.  The USDA says demand was moderate to good and quality was average to attractive.  Some parts of the state received some precipitation and demand for calves improved.  However, western Oklahoma remains extremely dry.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 66% steers and 78% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 859 to 889 pounds brought $135 to $145.50 and feeder steers 961 to 991 pounds brought $135 to $143.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 650 to 697 pounds brought $142.50 to $154.75 and feeder heifers 701 to 748 pounds brought $135 to $148.50. 

Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for light offerings.  Choice closed $1.31 lower at $266.60 and Select closed $1.75 higher at $256.52.  The Choice/Select spread was $10.08. Estimated cattle slaughter 125,000 head – up 13,000 on the week and up 7,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day sharply lower pressured by demand uncertainties, along with cash and wholesale business.  May lean hogs closed $4.05 lower at $107.80 and June lean hogs closed $4.75 lower at $114.02. 

Cash hogs closed higher to sharply higher with a fairly light negotiated run.  Demand for US pork on the global market has been strong, but there are long-term concerns which have created some uncertainty surrounding prices.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs and in many instances, processors have been able to move their desired numbers without having to aggressively bid up. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.64 higher with a base range of $95 to $109 and a weighted average of $99.77; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $3.52 higher with a weighted average of $108.14; the Western Corn Belt closed $4.42 higher with a weighted average of $108.14.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are lower, at $70. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $72 to $85.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $60 to $69.  Boars ranged from $38 to $42 and $20 to $25. 

Pork values closed sharply lower – down $5.49 at $105.79.  Bellies dropped more than $24.  Hams, loins, and butts were lower to sharply lower.  Picnics and ribs were higher. Estimated hog slaughter 465,000 head – up 112,000 on the week and down 15,000 on the year. 

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