Midday cash livestock markets
Direct cash cattle markets are quiet. Early asking prices are $158+ on the live basis, not established yet for dressed. This week’s show list looks mixed, smaller in Texas, but larger in Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska. Many of the major feedlots are seeing bitterly cold conditions, which should start to ease over the next couple of days, about when packer inquiry is expected to improve. The USDA’s semi-annual cattle inventory numbers are out at 3 Eastern/2 Central.
Boxed beef at midday was mixed with light to moderate movement. Choice was $1.52 lower at $266.58 and Select beef was $1.54 higher at $253.06 for a spread of $13.52.
At the West Point Livestock feeder cattle sale in Nebraska, compared to the previous week, the USDA says there was a lighter run because of a weekend snowstorm, with very good demand and a steady trend. Receipts were down on the week and the year. 59% of the offering were steers and 70% of the total run weighed more than 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers weighing 600 to 700 pounds were reported at $185.50 to $210.50 and 750 to 825 pound steers sold at $167 to $182.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers weighing 600 to 700 pounds ranged from $171 to $183.75 and a load of heifers averaging 790 pounds brought $168 to $177.50.
Cash hogs are steady to weak, nearly unchanged, with a moderate opening negotiated run for the major direct markets. Most buyers continue to press their leverage, when possible, with plenty of available market-ready numbers and little resistance to lower bids, only bidding up to fill near-term needs. Sustained pork demand is a bearish question mark hanging over the industry.
National direct barrows and gilts opened $.08 lower with a base price range of $70 to $73 for a weighted average of $70.33. The major regional direct markets were not reported due to confidentiality. Midwest butcher hog markets are steady at $60 in Dorchester, Wisconsin and $66 in Garnavillo, Iowa. Illinois direct sows are steady at $30 to $42 on light to moderate demand and offerings. Barrows and gilts are steady at $54 to $64 with moderate demand for moderate offerings. Boars range from $10 to $20.
Pork at midday was up $2.84 at $83.12. Loins, butts, ribs, hams, and bellies were higher, including a $14.82 gain in bellies, while picnics were lower.