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Cash hogs mixed on Monday

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were higher and feeders were lower ahead of the week’s direct business. Feeders had additional pressure from the higher corn and larger-than-expected placements in last week’s USDA Cattle on Feed report. April live was up $.20 at $188.10 and June was $.22 higher at $184.10. March feeders were down $1.52 at $253.05 and April was $1.07 lower at $258.90.

Direct cash cattle trade was quiet on Monday with no bids or asking prices on the table. Significant trade volume will likely be delayed until the second half of the week. Last week, cash business started to develop just before the noon hour on Friday and it continued through the afternoon with Southern live deals marked at mostly $183, $3 higher than the previous week. Northern dressed sales had a full range of $283 to $293, $4 higher than the week prior. The USDA says beef in cold storage at the end of January 11% below a year ago.

According to the Oklahoma Weekly Cattle Auction Summary, feeder steers across the state trended $2 to $4 higher and feeder heifers were steady to $4 higher from the previous week. USDA says demand was extremely good for all classes. The state’s feeder supply included 56% steers and 67% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 750 to 799 pounds brought $220 to $251.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 752 to 799 pounds sold for $180 to $228.50.

Boxed beef closed higher with Choice up $1.18 at $301.79 and Select up $1.68 at $287.99. The Choice/Select spread was $13.80.

Estimated cattle slaughter was 122,000 head – up 18,000 on the week and down nearly 2,000 on the year.

Lean hogs were mixed, with cash mixed during the session, ahead of the delayed USDA Cold Storage report. Also, while pork was up solidly at midday, that was driven by a big gain in bellies and might not be sustainable. April was down $.92 at $86.27 and June was $.47 at $99.85.

Cash hogs closed mixed with very moderate closing negotiated movement at the major direct markets. It looks like a number of buyers needed near-term market ready supplies to start the week. Some of those buyers might have also been trying to get ahead of a late winter storm that could impact movement in parts of the Midwest Wednesday. The USDA says pork in cold storage at the end of January was down 10% on the year.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were down $.58 with a base range of $69 to $74.50 and weighted average of $70.91. The Iowa/Minnesota was up $.21 with a weighted average of $72.05. The Western Corn Belt was down $.87 with a weighted average of $70.91. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are trending $5 higher at $55; slaughter sows are $3 higher at $42 to $45; boars are marked at $15. At Illinois, slaughter sows are up $1 at $39 to $51; barrows and gilts are mostly steady at $37 to $47; boars are priced at $8 to $25.

Pork values closed lower – down $.17 at $90.99.

Estimated hog slaughter was 492,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and up nearly 6,500 on the year.

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