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Quiet end to the week for cash cattle business

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were higher, with feeders in the lead on the mostly lower corn, anticipating a reduction in feed costs. The USDA did raise its 2023 beef production guess, but sees smaller production in 2024 due to tighter supplies. June live was up $1.45 at $164.40 and August was $1.65 higher at $162.45. May feeders were $1.35 higher at $205.47 and August was up $2.90 at $228.97.

Direct cash cattle trade was quiet Friday. Moderate business took place this week with Southern live deals marked at mostly $170, $2 lower than last week’s weighted averages. Northern dressed sales were at mostly $280, roughly $1 lower than last week’s weighted average basis Nebraska.

At the Ogallala Livestock Auction in Nebraska, steers and heifers sold sharply higher on the day compared to the most recent sale. USDA says demand was good on all offerings from a large crowd of buyers and active internet. Lots of nice grass cattle and feeder cattle were offered. Feeder supply included 51% steers and 68% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 666-696 pounds brought $242 to $260 and feeder steers 805-842 pounds brought $198 to $217. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 607-634 pounds brought $220 to $230 and feeder heifers 759-797 pounds brought $187.50 to $200.

Boxed beef was mixed at the close. Choice was $1.11 lower at $304.61 and Select was $.10 higher at $284.68. The Choice/Select spread is $19.93.

Estimated cattle slaughter is 124,000 head – up 7,000 on the week and up 4,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were mixed, adjusting spreads, with nearby months up and deferred contracts down. Cash during the session was steady to lower, while pork was up modestly at midday. The USDA has 2023 production up from the April guess on recent production numbers, but that could move lower next year because of expectations for lower farrowings in the back half of this year. June was up $.22 at $84.10 and July was $.20 higher at $85.32.

Cash hog business was steady to sharply lower with light closing negotiated numbers at the major direct markets. Buyers had the near-term needed numbers in hand after a few days of higher trade and activity at the end of the week was pretty light overall. The industry is waiting to see how the Supreme Court’s upholding of California’s Proposition 12 impacts business. Sustained pork demand heading into grilling season continues to be a question mark.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were $2.95 lower with a base range of $68 to $79.50 and weighted average of $74.36. The Iowa/Minnesota, Western Corn Belt, and Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hog prices at Dorchester, Wisconsin are called steady at $48. The Garnavillo, Iowa markets are closed Friday.

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $9 to $18. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $43 to $53. Boars were $15 to $25 and $5 to $10.

Pork values closed steady to higher – up $.19 at $83.41. Hams and loins were higher. Bellies, ribs, picnics, and butts were lower.

Estimate hog slaughter is 463,000 head – up 9,000 on the week and up 27,000 on the year.

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