Market News

Cattle futures higher, hogs mostly higher to end the week

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were higher – supported by the recent trend in boxed beef. April live cattle closed $1.95 higher at $187.55 and June lives closed $.95 higher at $182.82.  March feeder cattle closed $3.92 higher at $251.02 and April feeder cattle closed $3.32 higher at $253.55.

Direct cash cattle trade was quiet Friday following back-to-back days of moderate business.  For the week Northern dressed deals were marked at mostly $287 to $288, steady to $1 below the previous week’s business.  Southern live deals were at mostly $180, $2 lower than the prior week’s weighted averages. 

At the Ogallala Livestock Auction in Nebraska, steers under 700 pounds were $8 to $18 higher.  Steers over 700 pounds were steady to $12 lower.  Heifers under 600 pounds were $2 to $18 lower, except 400-to-450-pound heifers which were $5 to $11 higher.  Heifers over 600 pounds were $2 to $4 higher.  The USDA says demand was good to moderate on a nice selection offered.  Receipts were down from two weeks ago and on the year.  Feeder supply included 57% steers and 70% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 650 to 697 pounds brought $270 to $288 and feeder steers 755 to 789 pounds brought $244.50 to $259.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 614 to 617 pounds brought $273.50 to $274 and feeder heifers 708 to 743 pounds brought $230 to $241.

The Nebraska Hay market reports hay sales were steady and demand was mostly light.  In the East, Alfalfa, premium, small squares brought $10.  Alfalfa, good/premium, medium squares brought $120.  Alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $200.  Alfalfa, pellets, 17% sun-cured brought $330.  In Platte Valley, Alfalfa, large rounds brought $150.  Alfalfa, ground, brought $205.  Pellets 17% dehydrated brought $375.  Pellets 17% sun-cured brought $375.  In the West, Alfalfa, ground, brought $!50 to $180.  Alfalfa/orchard mix, medium squares brought $115.  Millet, large rounds, brought $125.

Boxed beef closed mixed with moderate demand for moderate offerings.  Choice was $.90 higher at $296.20 and Select closed $1.33 lower at $286.66.  The Choice/Select spread is $9.54. Estimated cattle slaughter was 120,000 – up 3,000 on the week and down about 1,600 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 2,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and down more than 5,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were mostly higher, supported by the mostly higher cash and higher wholesale business.  April lean hogs closed $.22 higher at $85.22 and May lean hogs were unchanged at $88.85. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a fairly light negotiated run. Processors were a little more aggressive in their procurement to end the week and bid up to move needed numbers. It was a very strong week for export sales and shipments.  Mexico topped both those lists, which confirms demand for US pork on the global market remains strong.  The industry continues to watch the availability of market-ready hogs – slaughter numbers have pulled back a little, which could indicate supplies are getting a little tighter. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.11 higher with a base range of $62 to $71.50 and a weighted average of $69.45; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.05 higher with a weighted average of $69.58; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.50 higher with a weighted average of $69.58.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.

According to the UDSA’s Weekly Feeder Pig Report, early-weaned pigs were $3 higher and feeder pigs were $7 higher.  Demand was good for moderate offerings.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $53.40 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $74.31. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets were $2 lower at $50. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $38 to $50.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $37 to $47.  Boars ranged from $15 to $25 and $8 to $15.

Pork values closed higher – up $.78 at $90.57.  Ribs and bellies were both sharply higher.  Hams and picnics were higher.  Butts and loins were lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 482,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and up nearly 9,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 122,000 head – down 59,000 on the week and up about 20,000 on the year.

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