Live cattle futures end the week mixed
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed mixed and feeders were mostly higher waiting for the rest of the week’s business to develop.
Another really end to the week for direct cash cattle trade activity following Thursday’s light business. Southern live deals were at $123, about $1 higher than last week’s weighted averages. Northern dressed business was at mostly $202, about $1 higher than the previous week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. Buyers and sellers spent most of the week in a standoff.
At the MO-Kan Livestock market in Missouri, compared to the last reported sale, steers were steady and heifers were steady to $5 higher. There were a couple of consignments of attractive yearlings and the small offer saw a strong demand. Feeder supply included 28% steers and 55% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 739 pounds brought $164.75. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 576 to 594 pounds brought $162.50 to $163.
At the South Dakota Hay Market, alfalfa hay remains steady. The USDA says demand was very good for all qualities and classes of hay as severe drought conditions have greatly reduced grazing and supplies of forage. Cow/Calf operators are already beginning to wean their calves and ship them to market as they try to stretch feed supplies. There has been some rain, and a break in temperatures, but not near enough to end the drought. Alfalfa, premium large squares brought $200 to $250 FOB. Alfalfa/grass, premium large squares brought $200. Alfalfa/grass mix, premium large rounds brought $140. Alfalfa/grass mix, fair, large squares brought $140.
Boxed beef closed lower to sharply lower. Choice down $1.93 at $345.34 and Select closed $4.07 lower at $315.52. The Choice/Select spread is $29.82. Estimated cattle slaughter is 116,000 head – even on the week and up 1,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated slaughter is 72,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and up 6,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day higher, supported by higher midday pork and their discount to cash.
Cash hogs closed lower with moderate negotiated numbers. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts. Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has helped provide a lot of price support, and the industry hopes that to continue. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.32 lower with a base range of $90 to $97 with a weighted average of $92.54. Prices at the regional direct markets were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $70. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate to good demand for light to moderate offerings at $70 to $85. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate to good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $59 to $66. Boars ranged from $45 to $50 and $10 to $12.
Pork values closed firm – up $.19 at $116.59. Sharply higher hams and butts were muted by sharply lower loins and ribs. Picnics were also higher, while bellies were lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 468,000 head – up 8,000 on the week and up 10,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 116,000 head – up 31,000 on the week and down 152,000 head.