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Live cattle mostly higher, feeders mostly lower ahead of On Feed numbers

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mixed, mostly higher and feeder cattle were mostly lower ahead of Friday’s On Feed numbers, which had higher than expected placements for July.  Feeder cattle had additional pressure from the day’s higher move in corn.  October lives closed $.50 higher at $145.25 and December lives closed $.42 higher at $150.97.  September feeder cattle closed $.52 lower at $184.75 and October feeders closed $.90 lower at $186.77. 

It was a quiet end to the week for direct cash cattle business.  There was a light to moderate trade took place in most of cattle country on Thursday with live deals marked at $142, $2 higher than the previous week’s weighted averages.  Northern dressed business was at $234, $4 higher than the prior week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. 

At the Apache Livestock Auction in Oklahoma, compared to last week feeder steers were $3 to $5 higher.  Feeder heifers were $1 to $6 higher.  Steer calves were $4 to $7 higher and heifer calves $5 to $8 higher.  The USDA says supply was good with a solid demand.  Receipts were down on the week and up on the year.  Feeder supply included 41% steers and 46% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 656 to 688 pounds brought $182 to $193 and feeder steers 709 to 737 pounds brought $175 to $181.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 469 to 499 pounds brought $173 to $189 and feeder heifers 653 to 690 pounds brought $171 to $176. 

In Nebraska, compared to last week, bales of alfalfa hay were steady with instances of $20 higher.  Grass hay steady.  Dehydrated alfalfa pellets were steady to $10 higher.  Ground and delivered hay was steady.  The USDA says demand was good.  Some buyers were purchasing hay for winter or next spring.  Some dryland silage is getting chopped across the state.  Alfalfa, premium, large squares brought $250.  Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $175 to $200 (ranch) and large rounds (dairy) brought $220.  Alfalfa, ground and delivered brought $205.  Alfalfa/forage mix, ground and delivered brought $184.  In the East, alfalfa, premium small squares brought $8.50 to $11.  Alfalfa, fair, large rounds brought $165.  Alfalfa, pellets 15% sun-cured brought $335.  Pellets, 17% dehydrated brought $355.  Pellets 17% sun-cured brought $340.  Brome grass, good large rounds brought $150 and small squares brought $8. 

In Iowa, hay receipts were up significantly on the year.  Alfalfa, good/premium large squares brought $175. Alfalfa, good/premium large rounds brought $120.  Alfalfa, good/premium small squares brought $8 per bale.  Grass, good/premium, large squares brought $120.  Grass, good/premium, small squares brought $7.50. 

Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for light offerings.  Choice closed $.11 lower at $264.28 and Select closed $.47 higher at $237.94.  The Choice/Select spread is $26.34. Estimated cattle slaughter is 122,000 head – up 4,000 on the week and up 5,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 40,000 head – up 7,000 on the week and down 32,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed lower, pressured by cash and wholesale business during the session.  October lean hogs closed $.17 lower at $92.12 and December lean hogs closed $1.02 lower at $84.15. 

Cash hog closed sharply lower with a fairly light negotiated run. Processors didn’t find the need to bid up to move bigger numbers at the end of the week and prices reflected that.  There continues to be long-term demand concerns for US pork on the global market and domestically which has put pressure on prices.  All eyes are monitoring the availability of market-ready hogs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $6.29 lower with a base range of $113.50 to $129 and a weighted average of $117.80; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $6.98 lower with a weighted average of $125.44; the Western Corn Belt closed $6.87 lower with a weighted average of $124.96.  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 steady and all feeder pigs were mostly steady to $2 per head lower.  Demand was good on moderate offerings.  The Total Composite cash range for early-weaned pigs was $20 to $49 and a weighted average of $41.37.  The Total Composite formula range for early-weaned pigs was $39.80 to $52.07 with a weighted average of $46.83.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $43.35 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $67.87. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $72. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $69 to $81.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $77 to $86. Boars ranged from $55 to $58 and $10 to $20. 

Pork values closed lower – down $2.71 at $117.20.  Bellies were sharply lower.  Picnics and hams were also lower.  Loins, ribs, and butts were higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 467,000 head – up 34,000 on the week and up 11,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 58,000 head – up 35,000 on the week and down 34,000 on the year. 

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