Market News

Live cattle mostly lower to end the week

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly lower and feeders were mostly higher watching corn and adjusting spreads. 

It was a quiet Friday for direct cash cattle trade activity. Deals for the week were marked at $232 dressed in the North, steady with the previous week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  Southern live deals were at mostly $140, with a few at $141, fully steady with prior week’s business. 

At the Winter Livestock Auction in Kansas, compared to last week feeder steers 900 to 1,025 pounds were $3 to $5 higher.  A lower trend was noted on heifers 650 to 950 pounds.  Steer and heifer calves 450 to 650 pounds sold steady on light receipts.  The USDA says demand was good.  Feeder supply included 79% steers and 82% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 809 to 846 pounds brought $147 to $153 and feeder steers 912 to 936 pounds brought $145.25 to $151.85.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 553 pounds brought $174.75 and feeder heifers 657 pounds brought $167. 

In Missouri last week, heavy rains continued to delay all aspects of fieldwork.  The USDA says there has been no early-haying done which is somewhat atypical for this time of year.  Below-average temperatures continue to prevent much grass or hay growth.  But with warm weather and sunshine in the forecast for the upcoming week that could be a turning point.  Hay supplies are moderate, demand is light, and supplies are steady.  Alfalfa, supreme, medium squares brought $200 to $250.  Alfalfa, supreme, small squares brought $8 to $12.  Alfalfa, premium, medium squares brought $160 to $200.  Alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $120 to $160.  Alfalfa, good, small squares brought $5 to $9.  Alfalfa, fair, large rounds brought $100 to $125.  Alfalfa/grass mix, good/premium, small squares brought $6 to $8.  Mixed grass, good/premium, large rounds brought $80 to $140. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for light offerings.  Choice closed $.75 lower at $254.44 and Select closed $.75 lower at $245.06.  The Choice/Select spread is $9.38. 

Estimated cattle slaughter 121,000 head, up 3,000 on the week and up 10,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 49,000 head – up 16,000 on the week and down 8,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed lower, pressured by profit-taking. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a light negotiated run. There are concerns that demand for US pork on the global market could wane and that is putting pressure on prices.  Processors have been able to move their desired numbers without having to get aggressive in their procurement efforts.  All eyes remain on the availability of market-ready hogs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.59 lower with a base range of $100 to $111 and a weighted average of $101.98; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.05 lower with a weighted average of $109.17; the Western Corn Belt closed $.42 lower with a weighted average of $109.44.  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 $11 lower with feeder pigs $6.50 lower.  Demand was light to moderate on moderate offerings.  Trade was slow to moderate, and receipts included 33% formulated pricing.  The Total Composite cash range for early-weaned pigs was $38 to $55 and a weighted average of $47.12.  The Total Composite formula range for early-weaned pigs was $36.38 to $64.95 and a weighted average of $53.11.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $49.25 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $92.93. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $60 and $68. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with light to moderate demand for light to moderate offerings at $72 to $84.  Barrows and gilt prices were steady with light to moderate demand for light to moderate offerings at $65 to $74.  Boars ranged from $40 to $45 and $20 to $25. 

Pork values closed lower – down $1.57 at $104.70.  Bellies were sharply lower.  Picnics and loins were lower.  Ribs, butts, and hams were higher to sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter 457,000 head – up 11,000 on the week and down 4,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 48,000 – down 8,000 on the week and up 38,000 on the year. 

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