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Cattle futures higher to finish the week

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were up, supported by cash and wholesale business.  June live cattle closed $2.02 higher at $181.05 and August lives closed $1.67 higher at $179.05.  August feeders closed $2.50 higher at $259.85 and September feeders closed $2.45 higher at $260.85. 

Direct cash cattle trade activity held out until Friday, and it was worth the wait for sellers.  Dressed deals in the North were marked at $300, that’s $5 higher than the previous week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  Live deals in the South were marked at $186, $2 higher than the previous week’s business. 

In Oklahoma this past week, feeder steers were $2 to $4 higher.  Steer calves were steady to $5 higher.  Heifers were $2 to $6 higher.  The USDA says demand was good for solid offerings.  Markets were active. Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 55% steers and 77% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 600 to 647 pounds brought $274 to $302.50 and feeder steers 850 to 893 pounds brought $201 to $241.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 700 to 749 pounds brought $214 to $243 and feeder heifers 755 to 798 pounds brought $192 to $240. 

In Nebraska, hay sales were steady.  The USDA says demand was light, but a few buyers continue to make purchases.  There was limited hay cut this past week.  Alfalfa weevil damage is starting to show up in some fields. Alfalfa, good, large rounds, brought $110.  Grass, good, large rounds brought $105.  Prairie/Meadow grass, premium, large squares brought $150.  Prairie/Meadow grass, premium, small squares brought $8. In the East, alfalfa, pellets 17%, sun-cured, brought $300.  Grass, good/premium, small squares brought $10 to $12.  Grass, good, large rounds brought $125.  Alfalfa, premium, large rounds brought $150. Alfalfa, ground, brought $165.  Pellets, 17% dehydrated, brought $350.  In the West, alfalfa, ground, brought $150 to $180. 

Boxed beef closed higher with solid demand for moderate offerings.  Choice was $3.30 higher at $313.45 and Select closed $.89 higher at $297.40.  The Choice/Select spread is $16.05. Estimated cattle slaughter was 102,000 head – down 18,000 on the week and down about 20,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 9,000 head – down 4,000 on the week and down a little more than 7,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were pressured by the steady to lower cash business, profit taking, and the ongoing inconsistencies in pork values. June lean hogs closed $1.87 lower at $96.50 and July lean hogs closed $1.57 lower at $100.05. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a fairly light negotiated run.  Late week business has been slow as processors have typically been more aggressive in their procurement efforts earlier in the week.  Demand, overall, has been strong for US pork on the global market and domestically.  Both are supportive to prices.  Hog weights pulled back slightly this week but are still running well above last year.  And the industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.76 lower with a base range of $84 to $90 and a weighted average of $88.57; the Iowa/Minnesota was $.15 lower with a weighted average of $89.41, the Western Corn Belt closed $.71 lower with a weighted average of $88.72; the Eastern Corn Belt closed $1.08 lower with a weighted average of $87.92. 

According to the Weekly Feeder Pig report, early-weaned pigs were $1 to $2 per head lower.  All feeder pigs were $3 per head lower.  The USDA says demand was moderate for moderate offerings.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $42.18 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $76.17. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $50. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $35 to $47.  Barrows at gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $51 to $61.  Boars ranged from $18 to $28 and $8 to $15. 

Pork values closed higher, up $.58 at $100.85.  Bellies were sharply higher.  Butts, ribs, and picnics were higher.  Loins and hams were lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 468,000 head – up 6,000 on the week and up about 7,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 36,000 head – up 27,000 on the week and down a little more 36,000 on the year.

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