Feeder cattle futures lower on profit-taking

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Feeder cattle futures lower on profit-taking

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle futures ended the day mixed on spread adjustments.  Feeder cattle were lower on profit-taking and day’s move higher in corn.  June live cattle closed $.67 higher at $94.65 and August live cattle closed $.25 higher at $100.20.  May feeder cattle closed $2.37 lower at $127.90 and August feeder cattle closed $1.20 lower at $136.95. 

A light direct cash cattle trade took place on Friday to round out the week.  Live deals are at $115, that’s $5 higher than Thursday’s business.  But that’s also $15 higher than last week’s weighted averages in Texas, $14 higher than in Kansas, and $17 higher than in Nebraska.  Dressed deals in Nebraska and Iowa ranged from $160 to $183.

In Missouri last week, feeders were uneven from $2 lower to $2 higher.  The USDA says supply and demand of feeders were moderate.  There has been plenty of moisture and pastures remain green and full.  That’s especially beneficial to cattle producers right now.  Receipts are up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 56 percent steers and 41 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 500 to 548 pounds brought $140 to $175 and feeder steers 550 to 599 pounds brought $131 to $170.  Feeder heifers 500 to 548 pounds brought $114 to $149 and feeder heifers 600 to 645 pounds brought $106 to $121.50. 

A lighter week for hay in South Dakota.  Alfalfa hay sold with a steady to weak undertone, grass hay was $5 lower.  The USDA says there was good demand for grinding quality alfalfa to use in feedyard rations as distillers’ grains have become harder to find.  There was a light demand for the really low-quality grass that remains pretty abundant.  New crop hay is just around the corner, and demand remains quiet.  Alfalfa is growing well and looks good, but there are freeze warnings in place and that could damage the crop.  Alfalfa: Premium large squares brought $200.  Fair, large rounds brought $115.  Grass: Good large rounds brought $95.  Alfalfa/Grass Mix: Fair large rounds brought $100 per bale. Oat hay: large rounds brought $100. 

Boxed beef ended the day higher with moderate demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $2.34 higher at $460.88 and Select closed
$.42 higher at $448.99.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 85,000 head – up 8,000 on the week, but still down 34,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 44,000 head – that’s down 3,000 on the week and down 26,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day lower on follow-through selling and long-term supply and demand concerns.  May lean hogs closed $1.50 lower at $67.30 and June contracts closed $2.20 lower at $61.70. 

Cash hogs closed steady to higher with moderate negotiated numbers.  While it’s not perfect, it looks like processing numbers are beginning to climb and it will be interesting to see how much the industry can increase processing capacity in the coming weeks. However, the continued slowdowns and shutdowns increase the bottlenecks in the supply chain and are creating a backlog of hogs all the way back to the producer level.  This is at a time when the supply of market-ready barrows and gilts is heavy and producers are running out of time and options for the hogs that are backing up in the system. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.35 higher with a base range of $33.50 to $45 for a weighted average of $38.00; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.21 higher with a weighted average of $38.09; the Western Corn Belt closed $.24 higher for a weighted average of $38.09.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.

This week’s Feeder Pigs Report showed some improvement.  Early weaned pigs were $1 per head higher and all feeder pigs were $6 per head higher.  The USDA says demand was moderate for moderate to heavy offerings and receipts included 47% formulated prices.  The total composite weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $18.53 and the average for all feeder pigs was $22.65. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $24. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices are steady with light to moderate demand for moderate offerings at $7 to $20.  Barrow and gilt prices are steady with light demand for heavy offerings at $10 to $15.  Boars ranged from $1 to $5. 

Pork values closed steady – down $.24 at $116.50.  Hams were sharply lower – dropping $9.51.  The rest of the primals were firm to sharply higher. 

Estimated hog slaughter is 328,000 head – up 55,000 on the week, but still down 113,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 226,000 head – up 96,000 on the week and up 218,000 on the year.  Thursday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 329,000 head. 

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