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Cattle futures mostly higher to end the week

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were mostly higher waiting for the week’s direct cash business to finish up.

There was a light to moderate direct cash cattle trade that took place late in the day Friday.  Live deals were at $156, $1 higher than the previous week’s weighted averages.  There was a light round of business in the North on Thursday at $248 dressed, fully steady with the prior week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. 

At the Ogallala Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared to last week, steers under 650 pounds were $6 to $10 higher, and steers over 650 pounds were steady to $3 higher.  Most weights of heifers sold steady to $10 lower, except 600-pound heifers which were $4 higher.  The USDA says demand was good to moderate.  Receipts were down slightly on the week and down on the year.  Feeder supply included 46% steers and 57% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 664 to 694 pounds brought $182 to $194 and feeder steers 757 to 785 pounds brought $172.50 to $180.  Medium and large 1 feeder heifers 550 to 596 pounds brought $182 to $195.50 and feeder heifers 653 to 696 pounds brought $167.50 to $183.50.

At the Nebraska Hay Market, bales of grass and alfalfa were steady on a thin test.  Ground and delivered hay was steady.  The USDA says buyer inquiry and demand was very good, especially after the recent snowfalls.  Winter grazing is restricted due to the weather and producers are having to feed more hay than expected for this time of year.  Hay supplies are tight.  More arctic weather is in the forecast.  Alfalfa, ground, brought $285.  Prairie/Meadow grass, premium, small squares brought $9.  Prairie/Meadow grass, good, large rounds brought $210.  In the East, Alfalfa, premium, small squares brought $10.  Grass, premium, small squares brought $8.  Grass, good, large rounds brought $225.  Grass, good, large roudns brought $150.  In the Platte Valley region, Alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $225.  Alfalfa, ground, brought $275.  Pellets, 15% protein, brought $350.  Pellets, 17% protein brought $350.  Corn stalks, large rounds, brought $100.  In the West, Alfalfa, good, large squares brought $275.  Alfalfa, ground, brought $275. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for fairly light offerings.  Choice closed $.99 lower at $267.76 and Select was $.94 lower at $250.54.  The Choice/Select spread is $17.22.   Estimated cattle slaughter was 124,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and up 6,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 31,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and down 27,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mixed on bear spreading.  The market continues to watch what’s happening with demand as long-term uncertainties linger. 

Cash hogs closed mixed with a moderate negotiated run.  Processors started Friday more aggressive in their procurement efforts and bid up to move their desired numbers, but backed off later in the day.  The weekly export sales report showed strong demand for US pork on global market, which helps provide some price support.  Demand has also been strong in the domestic market, especially with pork remaining a value buy for consumers in the retail space.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.30 lower with a base range of $63 to $74.50 with a weighted average of $70.63; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.02 lower with a weighted average of $71.52; the Western Corn Belt closed $.19 higher with a weighted average of $71.45.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

According to the weekly feeder pig report from the USDA early-weaned pigs were $2 per head higher and all feeder pigs were $2 to $4 higher.  The USDA says demand was good for moderate offerings.  The Total Composite cash range for early-weaned pigs were $57 to $77 with a weighted average of $67.73.  The Total Composite formula range was $49.78 to $73.64 with a weighted average of $58.90.  The weighted average for early-weaned pigs was $63.55 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $96.36.

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with light to moderate demand for light to moderate offerings at $30 to $42.  Barrows and gilt prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $54 to $64.  Boars ranged from $15 to $20 and $10 to $13. 

Pork values closed $1.21 lower at $79.25.  Hams, bellies, picnics, and loins were all lower.  Ribs and butts were higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 487,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and up 24,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 95,000 head – down 125,000 on the week and down 99,000 on the year. 

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