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Cash hogs sharply lower Wednesday

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were down and feeders were sharply lower, watching the direct cash markets. There’s also some talk boxed beef has put in its seasonal high. August live was $.10 lower at $182.25 and October was down $.10 at $183.20. August feeders were down $1.37 at $254.35 and September was $2.25 lower at $254.57.

Cash cattle country has a light trade reported in most major feeding areas with southern live deals marked at $188, steady with Tuesday’s business, and northern dressed sales at $312, $2 lower than the previous week. Yesterday’s business was mostly marked at $188, $4 lower than the previous week’s weighted average in Kansas.

At the Ozark Regional Stockyards in Missouri, Tuesday’s sale featured steer and heifer calves under 700 pounds selling $10 to $15 compared to the most recent sale. Heavier weights were $2 to $4 higher. Cash prices remained strong despite a sharp drop in choice boxed beef prices. USDA says demand was good on a light supply. Feeder supply included 51% steers and 46% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 600 to 642 pounds brought $293 to $312. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 655 to 695 pounds sold for $240.50 to $245.

Boxed beef closed lower with Choice down $1.61 at $324.05 and Select down $.37 at $303.94. The Choice/Select spread was $20.11.

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

Lean hog futures were pressured by the steady to lower cash during the session and the ongoing uncertainties about domestic pork demand. August was down $3.72 at $84.67, narrowly avoiding a limit down move, and October was $2.45 lower at $68.32.

Cash hogs were steady to sharply lower with heavy closing negotiated numbers for the major direct markets. Buyers were able to use their leverage to secure the needed near-term numbers, while keeping an eye on demand. Whole business continues to be inconsistent, with wide swings this week in some of the individual primal cuts. The average barrow and gilt weight in the Iowa/Southern Minnesota/South Dakota reporting region last week was 285.3 pounds, up nine tenths of a pound from the previous week and 7.5 pounds from last year.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were down $3.41 with a base range of $83 to $91. The Iowa/Minnesota was down $3.49 with a weighted average of $87.31. The Western Corn Belt was down $3.61 with a weighted average of $87.33. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $60; sows were steady at $54 to $60; boars were priced at $18. Illinois direct sows were $2 lower with a range of $53 to $65, and boars were marked at $8 to $28.

Pork values closed higher – up $.57 at $94.32.

Estimated hog slaughter was 477,000 head – up 6,000 on the week and up more than 22,000 on the year.

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