Cattle futures up on week’s beef trend
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle were higher, supported by the recent trend in beef. April live was up $1.40 at $137.30 and June was $.50 higher at $132.95. March feeders were $1.62 higher at $153.27 and April was up $1.72 at $157.97.
Direct cash cattle markets were quiet. The week’s business was light to moderate, mainly at $138 on the live basis, down $2 from the previous week, and $220 dressed, $4 lower. Asking prices for what’s left on the show list were $140 live and $222 dressed.
Boxed beef closed higher with moderate movement. Choice was up $.77 at $254.71 and Select was $1.74 higher at $249.11. The estimated cattle slaughter of 111,000 head was down 12,000 on the week and 3,000 on the year.
For the week, feeder steers in Oklahoma were $1 to $3 lower and feeder heifers were $2 to $4 lower, while steer calves were $3 to $5 lower, with lighter weights up to $15 lower, and heifer calves were $5 to $10 lower. The USDA says demand was light to moderate for all classes, with receipts up modestly on the week, but down sharply on the year. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers weighing 700 to 800 pounds were reported at $133 to $176 and 800-to-900-pound steers sold at $127 to $155.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers weighing 600 to 700 pounds brought $126.50 to $161.50 and 700-to-800-pound heifers ranged from $112 to $150.
The USDA says hay prices in Missouri were steady with light to moderate demand for a moderate supply. Supreme quality medium squares of alfalfa sold at $200 to $250 per ton, with premium at $160 to $200, while large rounds of good quality alfalfa were reported at $120 to $160.
In Nebraska, compared to the previous week, baled hay, dehydrated and sun-cured pellets, and ground and delivered hay all sold steady. The USDA says demand and buyer inquiry picked up, especially in the central area of the state. Availability was light with producers holding back some of the 2021 crop due to concerns about limited moisture in 2022. Large squares of fair quality alfalfa brought $145, with large rounds of good to premium prairie and meadow grass at $150. For the eastern parts of the state, 15% protein sun-cured pellets were reported at $320 with 17% dehydrated at $350. In the Platte Valley, ground alfalfa was pegged at $175 to $180, with sun-cured pellets at $270 and dehydrated at $280 to $295. For the western parts of Nebraska, large squares of premium to supreme quality alfalfa for stable use brought $270 with large squares for farm and ranch use at $250.
Lean hog futures were sharply higher on commercial buying and the sharply higher midday move in pork. April was up $2.62 at $102.72 and June was $3.27 higher at $118.17.
Cash hogs were steady to sharply lower with relatively light closing negotiated numbers. It looks like many buyers had the needed near-term numbers in hand after Thursday’s big spike at the major direct. Another round of late winter weather did cause some movement issues in parts of the region.
National direct barrows and gilts closed $4.26 lower with a base price range of $95 to $112 and a weighted average of $101.57, while Iowa/Southern Minnesota was down $4.75 at $106.15 and the Western Corn Belt was $5.33 lower at $105.42. The butcher hog markets in Dorchester, Wisconsin and Garnavillo, Iowa were closed. Illinois direct sows were steady at $69 to $80 on moderate demand for light to moderate offerings. Barrows and gilts were steady at $63 to $69, also with moderate demand for light to moderate offerings. Boars ranged from $17 to $44.
Pork closed $1.65 lower at $102.55. Hams reversed their big midday gain, bellies were also lower, and loins were down sharply. Butts, picnics, and ribs were firm to sharply higher. The estimated hog slaughter of 476,000 head was up 6,000 on the week but down 11,000 on the year.
The USDA says early weaned pigs were $6 lower with feeder pigs down $2. Demand and offerings were light to moderate and trade was slow to moderate. The cash composite for early weaned pigs ranged from $50 to $98 with a weighted average of $79.22, with a formula range of $46.88 to $90.12 and a weighted average of $60.53. Cash feeder pigs sold at $103 to $130 with a weighted average of $117.71.