Market News

Live cattle end the week higher

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day higher on oversold signals and the week’s stronger cash trade.  Feeder cattle were pressured by the higher move in corn.  June live cattle closed $.95 higher at $121.05 and August live cattle closed $.45 higher at $121.55. August feeder cattle closed $2.37 lower at $155.02 and September feeder cattle closed $1.87 lower at $157.22. 

It was a quiet end to the week for direct cash cattle trade activity.  Deals were at mostly $195 dressed, $4 higher than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. Live deals in the South were mostly $122, generally $2 higher than last week’s business. 

At the Mitchell Livestock Auction in South Dakota, compared to last week, there was a higher undertone noted on steers up to 750 pounds.  Steers 750 to 1000 pounds were $3 to $7 higher.  There was a steady undertone noted on steers over 1000 pounds.  Heifers 650 to 750 pounds were $2 to $7 higher, heifers 750 to 950 pounds were unevenly steady.  Heifers 950 to 1000 pounds were $4 higher.  The USDA says demand was good with many load lots of the day’s offering.  Receipts were down on the week and up on the year.  Feeder supply included 35% steers and 63% heifers and 98% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 810 to 844 pounds brought $141 to $147.25 and feeder steers 953 to 979 pounds brought $133 to $137.60.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 700 to 747 pounds brought $130 .50 to $142 and feeder heifers 903 to 943 pounds brought $122.10 to $128.50. 

At the Nebraska Hay Market, ground and delivered hay was $5 to $10 higher, bales of alfalfa and grass hay were steady to firm, and dehydrated pellets were steady.  The market has been active with buyers from the local areas and also from surrounding states.  Hot and dry weather has helped the first cutting of alfalfa dry down quickly.  Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $100.  Alfalfa, ground, brought $150 to $160.  Alfalfa/orchard mix, premium large squares brought $165.  Prairie/Meadow Grass, premium small squares brought $170.  Prairie/Meadow Grass, good large rounds brought $100.  In the East, Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $130 to $140.  Alfalfa pellets 17% protein brought $330.  In the Platte Valley area, ground Alfalfa brought $150 to $155.  Alfalfa pellets 17% protein brought $285 to $290.  In the West, ground alfalfa brought $173. 

Boxed beef closed lower to sharply lower on light demand for light offerings.  Choice closed $2.97 lower at $323.28 and Select closed $3.63 lower at $283.61.  The Choice/Select spread is $39.67. Estimated cattle slaughter is 117,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and even on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 69,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 12,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mixed on spread adjustments. July lean hogs closed $2.32 lower at $108.67 and August lean hogs closed $.52 lower at $106.67. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a very light negotiated run.  Processors continue to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs.  The industry is optimistic demand for US pork on the global market and domestically will hold as that’s been very, very supportive to prices.  Should a disruption occur, it would likely send prices tumbling. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.34 higher with a base range of $113 to $137 and a weighted average of $122.62; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $134.41; the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $133.94.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

According to the USDA’s National Feeder Pig Report, compared to the previous week, early-weaned pigs were mostly steady with a lower undertone late in the week.  All feeder pigs were $1 per head higher.  Demand light to moderate for moderate offerings.  Receipts included 49% formulated prices.  The Total Composite cash range for early-weaned pigs was $30 to $53 with a weighted average of $46.25 and the Total Composite formula range was $37.01 to $48.58 and a weighted average of $43.41.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $44.69 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $72.36. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash market are steady at $75. Pork values closed sharply lower – down $4.18 at $120.65.  Butts dropped more than $21.  Ribs, picnics, bellies and loins were all lower to sharply lower.  Hams were higher. 

Estimated hog slaughter is 470,000 head – up 13,000 on the week and up 14,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 60,000 head – up 7,000 on the week and down 232,000 on the year. 

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