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Hog futures end the week lower

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly lower, and feeders were mixed on spread adjustments, watching corn with the mixed midday boxed beef prices.  December lean hogs closed $.20 higher at $138.10 and February live cattle closed $.32 higher at $141.20.  January feeder cattle closed $.22 higher at $167.15 and March feeders closed $.07 higher at $167.97. 

Direct cash cattle trade finished the holiday-shortened week quietly after the active trading day on Wednesday.  Deals for the week were at $138 to $140 live in the South, which is $5 to $6 higher than the previous week’s business.  Dressed deals were $217 to $220 in the North, about $7 higher than the prior week’s business.  Some of the cattle purchased at $220 were marked for delayed delivery.  These are some of the highest cattle prices the industry has seen in recent years. 

At the latest sale at the Russell Livestock Auction in Iowa, compared to the previous week steer calves under 650 pounds were $1 higher to $3 lower.  Steers over 650 pounds were mostly $1 to $6 higher.  Heifer calves under 600 pounds were mostly $3 to $10 higher.  Heifers over 600 pounds were steady to $2 lower.  The USDA says there were several load lots included in the offerings.  Demand was good for moderate offerings and the trade was active.  Receipts were up on the week and down on the year.  Feeder supply included 58% steers and 59% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 601 to 649 pounds brought $163 to $171.10 and feeder steers 650 to 696 pounds brought $157 to $172.25.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 604 to 649 pounds brought $136 to $149.50 and feeder heifers 700 to 748 pounds brought $139.50 to $152.75. 

At the Kansas Hay market, prices were steady for alfalfa and grass hay, but trade remained slow.  Most hay activity remained quiet as many are still working to finish up harvest.  The latest drought monitor shows an increase in drought areas as soil moisture continues to decrease and precipitation deficits increase.  Alfalfa, supreme large squares brought $240.  Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $140 FOB and $135 delivered.  Large squares brought $165.  Alfalfa, fair/good, ground, brought $155 to $167.50.  Large squares 3×4 brought $130 delivered, large squares 4×4 brought $225 FOB, and large squares 4×4 brought $120, delivered.  In Northeast Kansas, alfalfa, supreme small squares brought $10.  Alfalfa, premium/supreme, medium squares brought $203.  Alfalfa, premium larges squares brought $217.  In the Northwest, alfalfa, supreme large squares brought $200.  Medium squares brought $255.  Alfalfa, premium large squares brought $234.  Alfalfa, good large squares brought $195.  Alfalfa, fair/good large rounds brought $170 and large squares brought $160.  In South Central, alfalfa, supreme large squares brought $209.  Pellets 17% dehydrated brought $210 to $215.  Alfalfa, supreme large squares brought $200.  Alfalfa, premium large squares brought $198.  Alfalfa pellets 17% sun-cured brought $240 to $250.  Alfalfa, premium large squares brought $180.  In the Southeast, alfalfa, supreme large squares brought $200 and medium squares brought $250.  Alfalfa, supreme small squares brought $10.  Alfalfa, premium/supreme small squares brought $8.  Alfalfa, premium large squares brought $180 FOB, feedlot/dairy and $200 FOB.  In the Southwest, alfalfa, supreme small squares brought $9.  Alfalfa, supreme large squares 3×4 brought $237.50 and large squares 4×4 brought $219. 

Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for light offerings.  Choice closed $.90 higher at $280.01 and Select closed $1.19 lower at $262.28.  The Choice/Select spread is $17.73. Estimated cattle slaughter is 119,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and up 7,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated slaughter is 81,000 head – up 12,000 on the week and down 10,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day lower, pressured by the lower pork values during the session.  December lean hogs closed $2.22 lower at $73.20 and February lean hogs closed $3.22 lower at $81.02. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a moderate negotiated run.  Processors continue to move their desired numbers without having to aggressively bid up. All eyes remain on the supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts.  Demand for US pork on the global market has been strong, which is expected to continue in the near-term.  But, there are long-term demand concerns, which is likely adding some pressure to prices.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.53 lower with a base range of $54 to $57 and a weighted average of $55.13; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $55.28; the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $55.29.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

According to the USDA’s National Feeder Pig Report, early-weaned pigs were $1 per head higher and all feeder pigs were $2 per head higher.  Demand was moderate for moderate offerings and receipts included 53% formulated prices.  The Total Composite Cash Range was $35 to $60 with a weighted average of $54.78.  The Total Composite Formula Range was $43.87 to $59.43 with an average of $50.45.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $52.21 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs were $71.59. 

Pork values closed lower – down $1 at $83.98.  Hams are sharply lower and butts were lower.  Loins, bellies, ribs, and picnics were all higher.  Estimated hog slaughter is 470,000 head – down 3,000 on the week and the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 363,000 head – up 130,000 on the week and down 16,000 on the year.

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