Market News

A very quiet Friday for cash cattle, hogs

There was a light to moderate direct cash cattle trade that took place throughout the week. Live deals in the South were marked at $186, $2 lower than the previous week’s business.  Dressed business in the North ranged from $299 to $300, $2 to $3 lower than the prior week’s weighted average basis. 

At the Farmers and Ranchers Livestock Commission in Kansas, steers 500 to 700 pounds were mostly $5 to $10 higher and steers over 700 pounds were steady to $6 lower.  Heifers were mostly $5 to $10 lower.  The USDA says grass cattle buying season is winding down and buyers are looking for steers that fit their program – that’s helping provide support to the light steers.  Supply was moderate with good demand. Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 48% steers and 58% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 452 to 487 pounds brought $352 to $373 and feeder steers 610 to 639 pounds brought $302 to $316.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 454 to 499 pounds brought $300 to $319 and feeder heifers 600 to 638 pounds brought $269 to $286. 

At the Nebraska hay market, alfalfa sold mostly $10 to $20 lower.  High quality hay was mostly steady while ground and delivered hay was $15 lower and sun-cured alfalfa pellets were $10 to $25 lower.  The USDA says demand was very light.  There were some large premium hay headed out of state for horses.  Hay carryover looks to be higher in the region. Alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $110 to $140.  Prairie/meadow grass, premium, small squares brought $8.  In the East, alfalfa, pellets 17% sun-cured brought $310.  In the Platte Valley region, alfalfa, ground, brought $175.  Pellets, 15% sun-cured, brought $350.  In the West, alfalfa, premium, large squares brought $200 and medium squares brought $225.  Alfalfa, utility, large squares brought $110.  Alfalfa, ground, brought $150 to $180.  Millet, large rounds, brought $120. 

Boxed beef was mixed with light to moderate demand for solid offerings.  Choice was $1.64 lower at $306.72 and Select closed $2.26 higher at $303.43.  The Choice/Select spread is $3.29. Estimated cattle slaughter was 98,000 head – down 11,000 on the week and down nearly 21,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 5,000 head – down 9,000 on the week and down nearly 20,000 on the year.

Cash hog prices were not reported Friday due to confidentiality, there were very few negotiated purchases.  This doesn’t come as a surprise.  Processors have been fairly aggressive in their procurement efforts this week and likely have needed numbers on hand.  That, and it’s the Friday before a weekend holiday.  Demand for US pork remains strong – that was highlighted in the USDA’s Weekly Export Sales report out Thursday.  The quarterly hogs and pigs report showed some attempt to pull back on production, but efficiency is making that difficult.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs and hog weights.   

According to the USDA’s Weekly Feeder Pig Report, early-weaned pigs were $1 to $2 per head lower.  Feeder pigs were $4 per head lower.  Demand was moderate for moderate offerings.  The Total Composite Cash Range was $37.50 to $63 and a weighted average of $48.41.  The Total Composite Formula Range was $44.27 to $55.80 and a weighted average of $51.92.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pig was $49.66 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $98.14. 

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $50 to $62.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $43 to $53.  Boars ranged from $15 to $25 and $8 to $15.

Pork values closed lower – down $.86 at $93.66.  Bellies were sharply lower.  Loins were weak.  Picnics, hams, butts were lower and ribs were sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 442,000 head – down 43,000 on the week and down nearly 28,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 16,000 head – down nearly 79,000 on the week and down nearly 78,000 on the year. 

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