Market News

Midday cash livestock markets

Direct cash cattle trade is off to its typically quiet start.  Bids and asking prices are not established yet.  It’s likely significant trade volume will be delayed until at least midweek or later.  The shortened holiday week provided for a more aggressive market last week.  Northern dressed deals had a full range of $186 to $188, mostly at $187, which was $3 higher than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  Live deals in that area ranged from $116 to $120.  Southern live business ranged from $117 to $119, mostly $118, $2 higher than the prior week’s weighted averages. 

Boxed beef is firm to sharply higher on good demand for light offerings.  Choice is $1.97 higher at $234.09 and Select is $.40 higher at $210.74.  The Choice/Select spread is $23.35. 

There was a limited comparison at the South Dakota auctions last week as many sales were closed due to the Thanksgiving holiday.  Steer calves were $1 to $3 higher and heifer calves were $2 to $5 lower.  Yearling feeder steers were mostly steady and yearling heifers were not well tested.  The USDA says demand was moderate to good for calves, with many strings of high-quality calves in a light to moderate flesh condition.  Receipts of 17,681 were down on both the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 60 percent steers and 41 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 550 to 594 pounds brought $147 to $168.50 and feeder steers 600 to 649 pounds brought $140.50 to $168.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 500 to 548 pounds brought $130 to $154 and feeder heifers 550 to 597 pounds brought $127 to $148.50. 

Cash hogs opened higher with solid negotiated purchase numbers.  The supply and demand picture is the story of this market.  Heavy supplies have been outweighing any potential demand increases.  There is an expectation of at least a partial trade agreement with China and that could increase access for, and the amount of US pork headed until China which has the potential to move prices significantly higher.  But that is still all talk at this point – and until the cash market sees some actual movement – prices will find it difficult to sustain higher levels.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct are $1.09 higher with a base range of $40 to $45 for a weighted average of $43.89.  Prices at the regional direct markets were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices in Dorchester, Wisconsin are steady at $32.  The market in Garnavillo, Iowa is closed this week. 

Pork values opened sharply higher – up $2.13 at $83.98.  Ribs jumped more than $10 this morning.  Bellies and ham are sharply higher.  Buts, picnics, and loins all opened weak. 

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