Cattle futures mixed, nearby hogs lower
Cattle futures were mixed on little news to trade on. Live cattle were trading lower with some profit-taking and traders tidying up positions to close the year. Feeder cattle gained some support on muddling corn futures.
It was a quiet week for direct cash cattle trade between Christmas and the new year. Light direct cash cattle trade was reported in the South Thursday at $138.00, $3.00 higher than last week’s weighted average. Northern business essentially ended earlier in the week at mostly $220.00 to $222.00, $3.00 to $5.00 higher.
Winter has set in throughout South Dakota with cold temperatures but with very little snow cover across most of the state. Beef cows can stay out grazing on corn stalks thanks to a dry forecast over South Dakota for the next week. There’s good demand for corn stalk bales for grinding and blending with other rations to stretch supplies. The hay market in South Dakota this past week has been steady with good to very good demand for all types and qualities of hay.
Large round and large square bales of supreme quality alfalfa sold at $250.00 a ton. Large square bales of good quality alfalfa went for $225.00 a ton. Large round bales of premium quality grass hay sold at $170.00 per ton in South Dakota.
Boxed beef closed mixed on Thursday. Choice boxes were down $.45 at $265.26. On the other hand, select boxes were $1.14 higher at $258.23, leaving the spread between choice and select boxes at $7.03.
Estimated Thursday cattle slaughter is 117,000, the same as last week, 23,000 more than a year ago.
Hog futures were mixed with downward pressure in the nearbys. Limited processing numbers around the start of the new year added some downward pressure in the market.
Pork demand is good, with carcass prices gaining Thursday. That demand is uncertain into 2022 but there was an impact through part of the week from tightening pig supplies made evident in the latest numbers report.
National Direct cash hogs closed $.25 higher Thursday, ranging from $60.00 to $68.00, with a weighted average of 61.50.
Feeder pigs: Compared to last week, early-weaned feeder pigs sold steady to firm. All feeder pigs were $2.00 per head higher. Demand was moderate for moderate offerings. The total composite cash range on early-weaned pigs was $47.00 to $68.00 per head, with a weighted average of $61.47. The total formula range on early-weaned pigs was $45.52 to $68.24, with a weighted average of $55.06. The cash composite for forty-pound feeder pigs was $78.00 to $80.50 per head, with a weighted average of $79.03.
The pork carcass cutout closed $7.06 higher at $91.35. Loins gained $18.32, to close at $87.03. Bellies were $12.38 higher at $139.04.
Thursday’s estimated hog slaughter is 463,000, 9,000 more than last week 45,000 more than last year.