Market News

Midday cash livestock markets

Direct cash cattle markets are quiet. Light to moderate trade has been reported this week, mainly at $115 on the live basis in the south and $182 dressed in the north, generally steady to $1 higher than the previous week. Some live sales were also reported in the north at $115 to $116. Today’s trade is largely expected to be confined to clean-up activity. Asking prices for what’s left on the showlist are $116 to $117 live and $184+ dressed, with bids of $115 to $116 live and $180 to $182 dressed. Boxed beef has lost some ground this week, but producers remain optimistic about holiday demand. Weekly beef exports were 25,300 tons, up sharply on the week, with Japan the leading buyer. The Fed Cattle Exchange had a Friday sale, with 1,264 head on offer and 0 sales.

Boxed beef at midday was mixed with light to moderate movement. Choice was up $.52 at $241.58 and Select was down $.77 at $215.07.

At the Ogallala Livestock Auction feeder cattle sale in Nebraska, compared to the previous week, steers were steady to $8 lower and heifers were $1 to $11 lower. The USDA says demand was moderate to good, with receipts down on the week and up on the year. 66% of the offering were steers and 88% of the run weighed less than 600 pounds. Unweaned Medium and Large 1 feeder steers weighing 400 to 500 pounds ranged from $168 to $208.50 and unweaned steers weighing 500 to 600 pounds brought $143 to $179. Unweaned Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers weighing 400 to 500 pounds sold at $141.50 to $164.50 and unweaned heifers weighing 500 to 600 pounds were reported at $130.50 to $150.50.

Cash hogs are mixed with moderate opening negotiated numbers for the major direct markets. Buyers are trying to procure the needed supplies for what’s expected to be a large Saturday kill. Most estimates for Saturday’s slaughter are around 350,000 head, with a probable weekly record total. The USDA says China bought 5,500 tons of U.S. pork for 2019 and 9,900 tons for 2020 delivery last week. Overall, exports of 19,900 tons were down on the week, but up sharply from the four-week average. Mexico and Canada were also buyers of U.S. pork as ag waits for the passage of the USMCA.

Pork at midday was up $3.08 at $90.12. Bellies jumped $11.47, with loins, butts, picnics, and ribs also sharply higher. Hams were down $.02.

National direct barrows and gilts opened $.63 higher at $40 to $44 with a weighted average of $42.82 and the Western Corn Belt is $.97 lower at $40.75. Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $32.

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