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Cash cattle business was quiet, cash hogs closed higher

It was a quiet Monday for direct cash cattle trade activity.  Bids and asking prices didn’t surface.  If business this week follows the recent trend, significant trade volume will hold out until sometime Thursday or Friday. 

At mid-session at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, feeder steers were steady to $3 higher, and steers 650 to 700 pounds were sharply higher, up $10 to $16 in some instances.  Feeder heifers are $4 to $7 higher.  Steer and heifer calves are $4 to $7 higher.  The USDA says demand is moderate to good and quality is average.  Receipts are down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 55% steers and 48% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 508 to 540 pounds brought $205 to $248 and feeder steers 655 to 690 pounds brought $188 to $213.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 550 to 599 pounds brought $175 to $201 and feeder heifers 603 to 637 pounds brought $179 to $217. 

Boxed beef closed higher on solid demand for light offerings.  Choice was $1.85 higher at $282.89 and Select closed $2.16 higher at $268.05.  The Choice/Select spread was $14.84. Estimated cattle slaughter was 104,000 head – down 22,000 on the week and down 6,000 on the year. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a solid negotiated run.  Processors are moving at their own pace when it comes to moving numbers.  They’re aggressive and bidding up when they need them and backing off when they don’t.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs.  Pork remains a value-buy for consumers in the retail space and that helps provide at least some price support. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.48 higher with a base range of $68 to $80 and a weighted average of $77.97; the Iowa/Minnesota was $.97 higher with a weighted average of $78.43; the Western Corn Belt was $1.03 higher with a weighted average of $78.34.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Pork values closed sharply higher – up $5.63 at $87.72.  Bellies jumped more than $25 on Monday. The rest of the primals were also higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 482,000 head – down 3,000 on the week and up 11,000 on the year. 

Futures markets were closed on Monday in observance of the President’s Day holiday.

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