Cattle futures higher ahead of Friday reports

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Cattle futures higher ahead of Friday reports

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder closed higher ahead of the USDA’s semi-annual Cattle Inventory report and the monthly Cattle on Feed update, both of which were out after the close. Feeders picked up additional support from the lower move in corn. The numbers were neutral to supportive to prices. August live cattle were $1.65 higher at $137.37 and October was up $2.02 at $143. August feeder cattle were up $3.27 at $181.55 and September was $3.17 higher at $184.47.

It was a quiet end to the week for direct cash cattle business following the light to moderate trade that took place Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  For the week live deals were at mostly $136, about $.50 below the prior week’s weighted average basis.  Dressed deals in the North were at mostly $227, $2 below the previous week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. 

At the New Cambria Livestock Market in Missouri, feeder steers and heifers sold with a steady to firm undertone.  The USDA says demand was good and supply was moderate.  Receipts were up from the most recent sale and on the year.  Feeder supply included 46% steers and 50% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 558 to 591 pounds brought $195.50 to $212.50 and feeder steers 604 to 647 pounds brought $193 to $197.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 606 to 631 pounds brought $175.50 to $179.50 and feeder heifers 663 to 688 pounds brought $172.25 to $176.50. 

In South Dakota last week, alfalfa and grass hay remained firm.  The USDA says there is good demand for all types of hay.  High testing dairy quality hay is in tighter supplies as the first cutting was more mature.  The second cutting was difficult to put up without rain and the tonnage has been lighter.  Drought conditions remain in West River, SD and in Southeast South Dakota.  Alfalfa, premium large squares brought $250.  Alfalfa, premium, large squares (contract) brought $275.  Alfalfa, good, large squares brought $200 to $225.  Alfalfa, fair, large squares brought $170.  Alfalfa/Grass mix, good, large squares brought $200.  Orchard grass, premium, small squares brought $7. 

At the Fort Atkinson Hay Market in Iowa, prices were lower for the week and quality also declined some.  Premium hay brought $170 to $185,  Good hay brought $115 to $17.  Fair quality hay brought $100 to $115 and utility hay brought $80 to $100. 

Boxed beef ended the day mixed on light to moderate demand for light offerings.  Choice was $.64 lower at $267.12 and Select is $1.97 higher at $242.50.  The Choice/Select spread is $24.62. Estimated cattle slaughter was 119,000 head, down 1,000 on the week, but up 7,000 on the year. Lean hog futures ended the day mostly higher on spread trade and the midday strength in pork ahead of the USDA’s monthly Cold Storage report. August lean hogs were $2.40 higher at $118.70 and October was up $.55 at $96.32.

Cash hog closed sharply lower with a fairly light negotiated run.  While processors were pretty aggressive for most of the week in their procurement efforts they backed down on Friday.  Demand for US pork has been relatively strong on the global market, but there are long-term concerns which pressures price.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $6.23 lower with a base range of $113.50 to $134 with a weighted average of $118.48; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $6.61 lower with a weighted average of $122.67; the Western Corn Belt closed $4.97 lower with a weighted average of $123.95; the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $118.96. 

According to the USDA’s weekly Feeder Pigs report, early-weaned pigs and all feeder pigs were steady.  Demand was moderate for moderate offerings.  The Total Composite cash range for early-weaned pigs was $33.50 to $44 with a weighted average of $39.24.  The Total Composite formula prices for early-weaned pigs was $36.50 to $50.37 and a weighted average of $42.38.  The Total Composite cash range for feeder pigs was $59 to $72 with a weighted average of $68.  The Total Composite formula price was $69.06.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $41.03 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $68.15. 

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $80. Illinois direct sows were $4 higher at $54 to $66 on moderate demand for light offerings. Barrows and gilts were steady at $74 to $83 with moderate demand and offerings. Boars ranged from $10 to $55. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $4 higher with moderate demand for light offerings at $54 to $66.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $74 to $83.  Boars ranged from $45 to $55 and $10 to $20. 

Pork values closed higher – up $1.84 at $125.74.  Bellies, hams, loins, and picnics were higher.  Butts were weak and ribs were lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 435,000 head, down 1,000 on the week, and up 5,000 on the year. 

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