Cattle futures closed higher ahead of On Feed numbers

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Cattle futures closed higher ahead of On Feed numbers

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were higher ahead of the on feed numbers, with support from the week’s steady to higher cash business and higher boxed beef price during the session.  Feeders found additional strength in the lower move in corn.  June live cattle were unchanged at $122.92 and August live cattle closed $.17 higher at $122.80.  August feeder cattle closed $2.40 higher at $159.55 and September feeder cattle closed $2.05 higher at $161.25. 

Direct cash cattle trade through the week has come in dribs and drabs.  There were multiple days with light and moderate business, but nothing consistent.  It took all day for the direct cash cattle trade to get underway on Friday. A light live trade developed in Western Nebraska at $125, which’s $1 higher than the previous week’s weighted average basis.  Deals for the week were around $197 to $202 dressed, mostly $197, $1 higher than the previous week’s weighted averages.  Live deals in the South were few and far between with deals ranging from $120 to $126, mostly $122, about steady with the prior week’s business. 

At the Winter Livestock Auction in Kansas, compared to last week feeder steers 700 to 850 pounds were $2 to $4 lower.  Steers 850 to 1000 pounds were $1 to $3 higher.  Feeder heifers 700 to 900 pounds were $4 to $7 lower.  The USDA says demand was moderate.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 53% heifers and 99% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeders steers 875 to 893 pounds brought $136.85 to $142.50 and feeder steers 986 to 991 pounds brought $138.50 to $140.10.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 758 to 799 pounds brought $139 to $144.75 and feeder heifers 878 pounds brought $128.10.   

In South Dakota last week, alfalfa and grass hay remain firm. Drought conditions have intensified over the last two weeks as temperatures have been high and rains have been very spotty.  Tonnage of second cutting alfalfa has been greatly reduced.  The wheat crop is in very poor condition and some producers are choosing to bale it as hay supplies are extremely short.  Demand is very good, but as hay prices continue to push higher, many producers may be forced to liquidate.  Alfalfa, supreme large squares brought $255 FOB.  Alfalfa premium/supreme larges squares brought $210 FOB.  Alfalfa premium large squares brought $185 to $225.  Alfalfa good large rounds brought $165.  Alfalfa/grass mix, premium large rounds brought $125 and larges squares brought $200 FOB.  Grass hay, premium brought $220 delivered. 

Boxed beef closed mixed with light to moderate demand for fairly light offerings.  Choice closed $2.86 lower at $304.56 and Select closed $.04 higher at $276.18.  The Choice/Select spread was $28.38. Estimated cattle slaughter 116,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and down 2,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 70,000 head up 1,000 on the week and down 8,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed higher on oversold signals, demand strength, and Thursday’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report.  July lean hogs closed $1.92 higher at $101.95 and August lean hogs closed $1.07 higher at $99.77.

Cash hogs closed higher with a solid negotiated run.  Processors continue to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts and bid up on Friday to move their desired numbers.  While the demand strength for US pork on the global market and domestically is expected to continue, any major disruption would likely send prices tumbling.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.70 higher with a base range of $108 to $122 and a weighted average of $116.89; the Iowa/Minnesota closed with a weighted average of $119.78; the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $119.78; the Eastern Corn Belt had a weighted average of $113.09.    

According to the USDA’s latest Feeder Pig Report, early weaned pigs were $2 per head lower and all feeder pigs were $5 per head lower.  Demand was light to moderate for moderate offerings.  Receipts included 57% formulated prices.  Total Composite Cash Range was $28 to $52 and weighted average of $44.49.  Total Composite Formula Range was $35.26 to $51.63 and an average of $45.30.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $44.97 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $67.36. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash market are steady at $83. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices are $2 to $3 higher with good demand for moderate offerings at $43 to $53.  Barrow and gilt prices were $5 lower with good demand for heavy offerings at $78 to $85.  Boars ranged from $45 to $50 and $10 to $12. 

Pork values closed sharply lower – down $2.95 at $110.04.  Ribs closed more than $18 lower.  Hams and bellies were both sharply lower.  Loins were weak.  Butts and picnics were sharply higher.  Estimated hog slaughter is 451,000 head – down 13,000 on the week and down 17,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 25,000 head – down 35,000 on the week and down 283,000 on the year.