Cattle futures mixed ahead of on feed numbers
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were mixed ahead of Friday’s On Feed report, which was friendly to the markets, but will likely be lost in the shortened holiday week. December live cattle closed $1.12 higher at $110.47 and February live cattle closed $.40 higher at $114.85. January feeder cattle closed $.52 lower at $140.45 and March feeder cattle closed $.30 lower at $142.30.
A quiet end to the week for direct cash cattle trade activity. The bulk of the week’s business was at $108 live in the South, which is about steady with the prior week’s weighted averages. There was also some live business in the North that was at $105 and $108 live, which was $1 lower to $2 higher than the previous week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. Just a little dressed trade this week, which ranged from $165 to $168, steady to $3 lower than the prior week’s weighted average basis.
At the Ogallala Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared to last week, steers were mostly $3 to $7 lower, except 450-pound steers, which were $7 higher and 550-pound steers which were $9 higher. Heifers were steady to $8 lower, except 650-pound heifers which were $3 higher. The USDA says demand was good on a good selection offered. Receipts were up on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 58 percent steers and 48 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 550 to 593 pounds brought $160.50 to $169.76 and feeder steers 602 to 649 pounds brought $149.50 to $164.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 553 to 598 pounds brought $142 to $157 and feeder heifers 602 to 646 pounds brought $135.50 to $152.
At the Nebraska Hay Market, compared to last week all reported forages sold steady. The USDA says demand was good. There was some hay staying in the local area with the rest going to out-of-state buyers. In Central Nebraska, Alfalfa, premium large squares brought $180. Alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $90 to $115 and large squares brought $150. Ground alfalfa brought $135 per ton. In Eastern Nebraska, Alfalfa, supreme large rounds brought $125. Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $145. Alfalfa pellets, 15 percent protein brought $265 to $275 and dehydrated pellets, 17 percent protein brought $300. In the Platte Valley area, Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $95 to $115. Ground Alfalfa brought $140 per ton. Pellets 15 percent protein brought $245 and dehydrated pellets 17 percent protein brought $280 to $285. In Western Nebraska, Alfalfa, supreme large squares brought $225. Alfalfa, good large squares brought $170 and ground Alfalfa brought $173.
Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for fairly light offerings. Choice closed $.88 lower at $208.63 and Select closed $.57 higher at $194.27. The Choice/Select spread is $14.36.
Estimated cattle slaughter is 117,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 1,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 69,000 head – down 4,000 on the week and up 5,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures closed mostly higher on spread adjustment. The market remains optimistic demand for US pork will remain strong. February lean hogs closed $.30 higher at $65.80 and April lean hogs closed $.62 higher at $69.92.
Cash hogs closed lower with a moderate negotiated run. Heavy supplies and demand uncertainty are putting pressure on prices. The availability of market-ready barrows and gilts is more than ample. Daily slaughter totals continue to push higher. And while that’s helping to prevent additional supply chain disruptions, it also adds more pork to an already saturated market. There is some uncertainty surrounding demand, but the industry remains optimistic global and domestic demand strength will continue to hold.
Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.16 lower with a base range of $46 to $53 with a weighted average of $51.09; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.02 lower with a weighted average of $51.00; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.92 lower with a weighted average of $51.57. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
According to this week’s Feeder Pig Report from the USDA, early weaned pigs were $3 per head higher and all feeder pigs were steady to firm. Demand was good on light offerings and receipts included 48 percent formulated prices. Total Composite cash range was $35 to $55 with an average of $48.71 and the Total Composite formula range was $36.56 to $50.81 with an average of $43.07. The Total Composite cash range was $50 to $58 and a weighted average of $56.15. The Average for all early-weaned pigs was $45.80 and the average for all feeder pigs was $56.15.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $2 lower at $35 and $36. In Illinois, slaughter sow prices were weak with light demand for light to moderate offerings at $24 to $35. Barrow and gilt prices were $1 to $2 lower with light to moderate demand for moderate offerings at $29 to $35. Boars ranged from $15 to $20 and $5 to $10.
Pork values closed lower – down $1.75 at $71.47. Loins, picnics, and bellies were all sharply lower. Butts were lower. Hams unchanged and ribs firm. Estimated hog slaughter is 481,000 head – down 9,000 on the week and the year. Saturday’s estimated hog slaughter is 380,000 head – up 80,000 on the week and up 29,000 on the year. Thursday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 467,000 head.