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Cattle futures higher on Tuesday, expecting steady cash business

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle were higher ahead of this week’s direct trade, generally expecting mostly steady business. April live was up $1.32 at $188 and June was $.95 higher at $183.52. March feeders were $.75 higher at $252.30 and April was up $1.42 at $257.17.

Cash cattle country had a few scattered bids on the table in parts of Nebraska Tuesday afternoon, but asking prices in the North were very elusive. In the South, prices have been starting out around $186. Significant trade volume will likely be delayed until Wednesday or later.

At the Tri-State Livestock Auction in Nebraska, receipts were down 2,355 head from the most recent sale and there weren’t enough to show week to week comparisons. USDA says demand was moderate to good on mixed offerings. Feeder supply included 47% steers and 53% of the total offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 572 to 588 pounds brought $326 to $329. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 827 to 830 pounds sold for $225.

Boxed beef cutout values were lower at the close with Choice down $1.51 at $304.79 and Select down $.30 at $294.87. The Choice/Select spread was $9.92.

Estimated cattle slaughter was 122,000 head – down 3,000 on the week and down nearly 4,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were mostly lower on spread trade and what seems to be an emerging lower trend in the wholesale market. April was down $1.10 at $85.17 and June was $.52 lower at $101.60.

Cash hogs were steady to higher with solid closing negotiated numbers at the major direct markets. Those major direct markets did start the day with lower prices, but most buyers had to raise bids to move the needed near-term numbers as the day progressed. Signs the wholesale market could be entering a lower trend did limit spending somewhat.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were up $.47 with a base range of $69 to $76 and a weighted average price of $74.63. The Iowa/Minnesota was $.38 higher with a weighted average price of $74.91. The Western Corn Belt was up $.14 with a weighted average price of $74.56. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hogs at the Midwest Cash markets were steady at $55; slaughter sows were steady at $45 to $48; boars were marked at $18. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 higher with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $45 to $57; barrows and gilts were up $1 with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $43 to $53; boars were priced at $8 to $25.

Pork values closed lower – down $1.39 at $91.43.

Estimated hog slaughter was 454,000 head – down 37,000 on the week and down more than 30,000 on the year.

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