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Cattle futures end the week on a positive note

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were sharply higher on the week’s direct business and higher midday boxed beef.  August live cattle closed $3.67 higher at $183.17 and October live cattle closed $3.15 higher at $284.85.  August feeder cattle closed $4.50 higher at $261.97 and September feeders closed $4.40 higher at $262.70.

Direct cash cattle trade activity was quiet for the most part Friday following the active day on Thursday.  Deals for the week were at mostly $186 live in the South, $1 higher than the previous week’s weighted averages.  Dressed deals in the North were at mostly $305 to $306, $4 to $5 higher than the prior week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. 

In Oklahoma this week, feeder steers over 800 pounds were $4 to $8 higher.  Feeder steers under 800 pounds were $2 to $5 lower.  Steer calves were $3 to $4 higher.  Feeder heifers were $3 to $5 higher.  Heifer calves were steady to $4 lower.  The USDA says demand was moderate.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 51% steers and 69% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 600 to 645 pounds brought $261 to $315 and feeder steers 700 to 743 pounds brought $210 to $278.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 601 to 647 pounds brought $220 to $267 and feeder heifers 701 to 748 pounds brought $201 to $260.

In Nebraska, ground and delivered hay was steady.  It was the first test of the market this week for new-crop hay in various location.  It was met with a lower undertone.  Large quantities of old-crop hay put some pressure on the new-crop bids across the state.  Rain has been an issue as some producers have struggled getting that first cutting alfalfa and grass hay up without damage.  Alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $95.  Prairie/Meadow grass, premium, small squares brought $8.  In the East, alfalfa, supreme, chopped, brought $210.  Alfalfa, premium, large rounds brought $150.  Alfalfa, premium, small squares brought $8.  Alfalfa, pellets 17%, dehydrated brought $325. In the Platte Valley area, alfalfa, good/premium, large rounds brought $130.  Alfalfa, ground, brought $160 per ton.  In the West, alfalfa, supreme, large squares brought $160 to $165.

Boxed beef was higher and sharply higher at midday on solid demand for moderate offerings.  Choice is $1.50 higher at $319.81 and Select is $3.80 higher at $303.05.  The Choice/Select spread is $16.76. Estimated cattle slaughter was 119,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and up about 1,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 7,000 – even on the week and down 9,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mixed on spread trade with cash and wholes business higher at midday. July lean hogs closed $.87 higher at $93.65 and August lean hogs closed $1.85 higher at $90.45. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a fairly light negotiated run.  Processors were a little more aggressive in their procurement efforts Friday, trying to bid up to move needed numbers.  Demand for US pork has been relatively solid on the global market, which helps provide some price support.  But heavier hog weights and ample supplies of market-ready hogs means there is plenty of pork available. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.74 higher with a base range of $84 to $92 with a weighted average of $87.61; no comparisons at the Iowa/Minnesota but a weighted average of $86.30; the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $88.07.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.

According to the USDA’s Weekly Feeder Pig report, early-weaned pigs and feeder pigs were $1 per head lower.  The USDA says demand was steady for moderate offerings. The weighted average for early-weaned pigs was $39.35 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $39.10. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $60. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 higher with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $53 to $65.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $52 to $62.  Boars ranged from $18 to $28 and $8 to $15. 

Pork values closed sharply higher – up $4.33 at $101.35. Bellies, butts, loins, and ribs were all sharply higher.  Hams and picnics were lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 456,000 head – down 10,000 on the week and up 2,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 49,000 head – up 9,000 on the week and up about 27,000 on the year.

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