Feeder cattle mostly higher on lower corn

Market News

Feeder cattle mostly higher on lower corn

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed mostly lower, adjusting spreads.  Feeder cattle were mostly higher on the day’s lower move in corn. 

It was a mostly quiet Friday for direct cash cattle trade activity, with just some scattered trade reported fully steady with the week’s business.  For the week, live deals in the South had a range of $137 to mostly $140, steady with the previous week’s business.  Dressed deals ranged from $225 to mostly $230, below the prior week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. 

At the Winter Livestock Auction in Kansas, compared to last week feeder steers 600 to 850 pounds were $2 to $5 higher. Steers 850 to 1050 pounds were $6 to $8 lower.  Feeder heifers 600 to 950 pounds were $9 to $12 higher, with the most demand on heifers over 850 pounds.  The USDA says demand was good.  Feeder supply included 31% steers and 96% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 800 to 847 pounds brought $152.50 to $157.25 and feeder steers 905 to 938 pounds brought $136 to $143.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 808 to 849 pounds brought $141 to $144.25 and feeder heifers 851 to 874 pounds brought $137 to $142.10.

In Nebraska, compared to the previous week alfalfa hay sold steady to $5 higher, grass hay was steady on a weak test.  Ground and delivered hay was fully steady.  The USDA says demand was good.  Recent rains have helped with grass production.  Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $170.  Alfalfa, ground brought $205.  In the East, Alfalfa pellets 15% brought $310, and pellets 17% dehydrated brought $340.  In the Platte Valley area, ground alfalfa brought $200.  Pellets 17% dehydrated brought $285 to $305.  In the West, alfalfa, supreme, large squares brought $230.  Alfalfa, good large squares brought $200 to $230.  Alfalfa, ground, brought $225. 

Boxed beef closed mixed on fairly light demand for light offerings.  Choice closed $1.75 higher at $258.62 and Select closed $.46 lower at $243.90.  The Choice/Select spread is $15.05. Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 4,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 42,000 head – down 7,000 on the week and down 21,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mostly higher on spread trade.

Cash hogs closed sharply lower with a light negotiated run.  Demand for US pork on the global market is facing some uncertainty and that’s adding pressure to prices.  Processors are moving their desired numbers and much lower prices.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $4.89 lower with a base range of $98 to $108 and a weighted average of $101.47 and the Western Corn Belt closed $9.40 lower with a weighted average of $103.35.  Prices at the Iowa/Minnesota and the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

According to the USDA’s weekly National Direct Feeder Pig report, compared to last week, early-weaned pigs were $3 lower while feeder pigs were $12.50 lower.  Demand was light to moderate on moderate to heavy offerings.  Trade activity was slow to moderate.  Receipts included 44% formulated prices.  The Total Composite cash range was $21 to $57 with a weighted average of $43.73.  The Total Composite formula range was $35.01 to $51.45 with a weighted average of $42.91.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $43.32 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $80.23.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $70.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with light demand for moderate offerings at $69 to $80.  Barrows and gilts were steady with light to moderate demand for light to moderate offerings at $65 to $74.  Boars ranged from $40 to $50 and $5 to $15. 

Pork values closed higher – up $2.57 at $101.17.  Bellies were sharply higher.  Butts, hams, and ribs were higher. Picnics and loins were lower. Estimated hog slaughter 438,000 head – down 6,000 on the week and down 24,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 48,000 head – even on the week and up 37,000 on the year.  Thursday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 472,000 head.