Cattle futures end the week mostly higher
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly higher and feeder on technical activity, also keeping an eye on corn. August live cattle closed $.27 lower at $133.85 and August feeder cattle closed $.92 higher at $173.87.
It was a quiet Friday for direct cash cattle trade activity. For the week, deals in the South were at mostly $135, $2 lower than the prior week’s weighted averages. Northern dressed deals were at mostly $222, also about $2 lower than the previous week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.
At the Winter Livestock Auction in Kansas, compared to the previous week, feeder steers 700 to 950 pounds were $3 to $6 higher. Feeder heifers 675 to 950 pounds were $2 to $5 higher. The USDA says demand was good. Receipts were up on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 77% steers and 97% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 833 to 846 pounds brought $171 to $172.60 and feeder steers 951 to 980 pounds brought $148.50 to $154.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 775 to 792 pounds brought $142.60 to $145 and feeder heifers 866 to 897 pounds brought $136.50 to $141.
In Nebraska, compared to the previous week-old crop hay was mostly steady. There were a few reports of new crop alfalfa, but not enough for a market comparison. The USDA says demand was moderate to good. There were scattered rain showers across the state over the holiday weekend. In the Eastern part of the state, there are reports that tonnage of new crop alfalfa is close to normal. Alfalfa, good/premium standing brought $110. Alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $130. Alfalfa, ground, brought $205. Prairie/Meadow grass, premium, small squares brought $220 per ton. In the East, alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $175. Alfalfa, pellets 15%, brought $310. Alfalfa, pellets 17% brought $340. In the Platte Valley area, Alfalfa, ground, brought $190 to $200. Alfalfa, pellets 15%, brought $290. Alfalfa, pellets 17%, brought $290 to $305. In the West, Alfalfa, good, large squares brought $200. Alfalfa, ground, brought $225.
Boxed beef closed firm with solid demand for light offerings. Choice closed $.61 higher at $267.15 and Select closed $.39 higher at $250.07. The Choice/Select spread is $17.24. Estimated cattle slaughter is 126,000 head – up 6,000 on the week and the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 96,000 head – up 71,000 on the week and down 3,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day mostly lower on spread trade and profit-taking. July lean hogs closed $1.42 lower at $110.75 and August lean hogs closed $1.70 lower at $108.05.
Cash hogs closed sharply lower with a light negotiated run. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Processors didn’t find it necessary to bid up to move their desired numbers following the large runs earlier in the week. There are long-term demand concerns that have created some uncertainty in the markets. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $3.13 lower with a base range of $104 to $117.50 and weighted average of $112.09; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $2.50 lower with a weighted average of $114.46; the Western Corn Belt closed $3.56 lower with a weighted average of $113.50. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
According to the USDA’s Weekly Feeder Pig Report, early-weaned pigs and feeder pigs were mostly steady to week. Demand was moderate for moderate offerings. The Total Composite Cash Range for early-weaned pigs was $23 to $49.75 with a weighted average of $40.73. The Total Composite formula range for early-weaned pigs was $31.41 to $50.02 and a weighted average of $41.64. The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $41.12 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $72.85.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $70. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with light demand for light to moderate offerings at $41 to $53. Barrows and gilts were steady with light demand for light to moderate offerings at $65 to $74. Boars ranged from $40 to $50 and $10 to $15.
Pork values closed lower – down $2.64 at $109.38. Bellies dropped more than $16 on Friday. Hams, ribs, and picnics were also lower. Butts and loins were higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 478,000 head – up 29,000 on the week and down 1,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 145,000 head – down 45,000 on the year.