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Cash hog markets close week steady to lower

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were lower, pressured by the cash and wholesale business during the session. June live was down $1.00 at $181.55 and August was $1.32 lower at $178.45. August feeders were $2.67 lower at $256.40 and September was down $2.55 at $258.12.

Cash cattle country had some light trade reported in the North with dressed deals at $301, $3 lower than the previous week. The majority of Southern live business took place Thursday at $186, $1 lower than the week prior. Asking prices were firm around $187-plus in the South, and $303 to $305 in the North.

At Lamoni Livestock in Iowa, feeder steers under 600 pounds sold $11 to $22 lower compared to the most recent sale, while feeder steers over 600 pounds were steady to $12 higher. Feeder heifers under 550 pounds sold mostly $20 higher compared to the most recent sale, while feeder heifers over 550 pounds sold mostly $2 to $5 lower. USDA says the supply was moderate to heavy and included a few load lots of yearling cattle. Demand was reported to be good. Feeder supply included 61% steers and 43% of the offering was over 600 pounds.

Boxed beef closed lower with Choice down $.84 at $313.20 and Select $.81 lower at $301.71. The Choice/Select spread was $11.50.

Estimated cattle slaughter was 122,000 head – up 5,000 on the week and down more than 2,000 on the year.

The USDA says beef export sales of 15,700 tons were down 27% on the week and 12% from the four-week average, with Japan and China topping the list.

The USDA says hay prices in Missouri were mostly steady on the week, with light demand for a light to moderate supply, with the cutting process just ahead of average. Medium squares of supreme alfalfa ranged from $250 to $350 per ton, with medium squares of premium at $200 to $275 and good large rounds at $150 to $200. Large rounds of good to premium mixed grass were reported at $150 to $225, with large rounds of fair to good at $100 to $175.

In Nebraska, hay was steady in a thin test with light demand. The first cutting of alfalfa is underway, with most of that headed to dairies or feedlots, with a wide range of tonnage reports. For eastern Nebraska, good to premium large squares of alfalfa sold at $245 per ton, with large rounds of rye grass at $110. In the Platte Valley, ground alfalfa was reported at $165 per ton, with 17% protein dehydrated pellets at $350 to $360. For western Nebraska, large squares of fair quality alfalfa brought $100.

For South Dakota, the USDA says demand was slow, but should increase after the first cutting wraps up. Large squares of premium to supreme quality sold at $250 per ton, with large squares of premium at $220. Large rounds of good grass brought $160 with fair to good at $140.

The USDA’s weekly biomass report says corn stalks averaged $60.31, straw averaged $107.50, and grass averaged $75.

Lean hog futures were up modestly on the higher midday move in pork and solid weekly export sales. June was $.37 higher at $94.35 and July was up $.17 at $97.12.

Cash hog markets were steady to lower with very light closing negotiated numbers at the major direct markets. Most buyers had their near-term needs taken care of and were able to save some money with questions about sustained domestic demand. Wholesale pork did end the week with a gain, but it remains to be seen if that continues after retailers finish restocking following Memorial Day weekend. Pork exports of 44,400 tons were 69% higher than both the previous week and the four-week average, mainly to Mexico.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were down $.46 with a base range of $83 to $90 and weighted average of $86.90. Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $55; slaughter sows are steady at $36 to $39; boars are priced at $12.

Pork values closed higher – up $1.30 at $103.25.

Estimated hog slaughter was 483,000 head – up 43,000 on the week and up more than 15,000 on the year.

The USDA says early weaned pigs were steady and feeder pigs were $5 lower than the previous week, with active demand for moderate offerings. For cash early weaned pigs, the composite range was $25 to $48 for a weighted average of $39.49, while the formula composite range was $39.12 to $54.88 for a weighted average of $44.44, putting the weighted average for all early weaned pigs at $41.15. The cash composite range for feeder pigs was $56 to $69 for a weighted average of $61.

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