Market News

Midday cash livestock markets

Cash cattle country has been off to a slow start Thursday following some light business that took place on Wednesday. Live trade in the South was at $171, $3 lower than last week’s weighted averages. Northern dressed deals were reported at mostly $271, $4 lower than the previous week. Wednesday’s mandatory totals are relatively light, so more trade is expected the rest of the week.

Boxed beef was mixed at midday. Choice was down $1.94 at $288.62 and Select was $.44 higher at $260.34. The Choice/Select spread was $28.28.

At Winter Livestock in Kansas, steers sold $4 to $8 lower compared to the most recent sale. Heifers were $5 to $10 lower. Slaughter cows and bulls sold steady to $3 lower. USDA says demand was moderate to good on good buyer attendance. Feeder supply included 59% steers and 60% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 665 to 692 pounds brought $224 to $242. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 856 to 862 pounds sold for $185.25 to $188.

2023 beef export sales were a marketing low at 200 tons, a drop of 98% from both the week before and the four-week average following several cancelations. 2024 sales of 18,400 tons were mostly to South Korea and Japan.

Cash hogs are steady to lower with a very light opening negotiated run at the major direct markets. It looks like many of the major buyers have moved most of the market ready numbers needed this week, using those ready numbers, higher average weights, and questions about sustained demand for leverage. The pork carcass cutout value did see some gains earlier in the week but appears to have topped out for now.

2023 pork export sales of 25,900 tons were up 23% from the previous week, but down 14% from the four-week average, mainly to South Korea, Mexico, and Japan. 2024 sales of 10,100 tons were primarily to Mexico and South Korea.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were down $.97 with a base range of $48 to $55 and weighted average price of $53.92. The Iowa/Minnesota and Western Corn Belt each have a weighted average of $53.92 but comparisons were not reported due to confidentiality. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets were trending steady at $50; sows were lower at $36 to $39; boars were $10 to $16. At Illinois, slaughter sows were $2 lower with a range of $36 to $48 and boars were $5 to $21.

Pork values were steady to lower at midday – down $.57 at $82.63. Ribs and butts were higher. Bellies, hams, picnics, and loins were lower.

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