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Cattle futures mostly lower ahead of On Feed numbers

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly lower, and feeders were lower waiting for direct business to develop and Friday’s Cattle on Feed numbers from the USDA.  The report could be negative to prices in the near-term, but if the report figures hold supportive to prices later in the year. August live cattle closed $.60 higher at $183.15 and October lives closed $.20 lower at $183.62.  August feeder cattle closed $1.45 lower at $258.37 and September feeders closed $1.27 lower at $259.90. 

It took almost the entire week for direct cash cattle trade to develop and the wait was worth it.  Dressed business in Nebraska was marked at $310 with a few at $312, that’s $4 to $6 higher than the previous week’s business.  Live deals in the South were at $189 to $190, $3 to $4 higher than the prior week’s weighted averages.

At the Joplin Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to Monday’s regular sale, value-add steers under 500 pounds were $10 to $15 higher, steers 500 to 700 pounds were steady to weak, steers over 700 pounds were $7 to $11 higher.  Heifers under 500 pounds were $5 to $10 higher, heifers over 500 pounds were uneven – from $5 lower to $3 higher.  All cattle consigned were enrolled in a verified health program that includes shots and weaning.  The USDA says demand was good on a high-quality supply with many from reputation breeders in the area.  Receipts were down from the most recent sale and on the year.  Feeder supply included 58% steers and 58% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 550 to 595 pounds brought $304 to $326, feeder steers 650 to 698 pounds brought $274 to $293, and feeder steers 702 to 745 pounds brought $267 to $289.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 554 to 598 pounds brought $269 to $290 and feeder heifers 653 to 694 pounds brought $249 to $263. 

In Iowa, alfalfa, supreme, medium squares brought $360.  Alfalfa, premium/supreme, small squares brought $320 to $360.  Alfalfa, premium, medium squares brought $260.  Alfalfa, good/premium, large rounds brought $125.  Alfalfa/grass mix, premium, brought $310 FOB.  Alfalfa/grass mix, good-premium, medium squares brought $250.  Grass, good/premium, small squares brought $290, FOB.  Mixed grass, good, large rounds brought $160 FOB.

In Nebraska, ground and delivered hay has been about steady.  It’s been difficult for some producers to get first cutting alfalfa and grass hay up with out rain damage.  Alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $95.  Alfalfa, large rounds brought $110 and $125.  In the East, alfalfa, supreme, chopped brought $210.  Alfalfa, premium, large rounds brought $150.  Alfalfa, premium, small squares brought $125.  Alfalfa, pellets, 17% dehy brought $325.  In the Platte Valley area, alfalfa large rounds brought $130.  Alfalfa, ground, brought $160.   In the West, alfalfa, supreme, large squares brought $160 to $165.  Alfalfa, ground, brought $150.

Boxed beef closed lower with light demand for solid offerings.  Choice was $.48 lower at $322.39 and Select closed $1.29 lower at $303.11.  The Choice/Select spread is $19.28. Estimated cattle slaughter was 120,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and about steady on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 19,000 head – up 12,000 on the week and down about 6,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures ended the day mixed on spread trade.  July lean hogs closed $.90 higher at $92.05 and August contracts closed $.20 higher at $89.32.   

Cash hogs closed steady to lower with a fairly light negotiated run. Processors were able to move decent numbers this week without having to get too aggressive in their procurement efforts.  Supplies of market-ready hogs are ample and while hog weights have started a seasonal decline, they’re still coming in well above year-ago levels – and that’s contributing to more available pork supplies.  The strong demand for US pork on the global market remains a bright spot, helping provide a little price support. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.17 lower with a base range of $83 to $87.50 and a weighted average of $86.04; the Iowa/Minnesota has no comparison but a weighted average of $86.46; the Western Corn Belt closed $.47 lower with a weighted average of $86.27; the Eastern Corn Belt closed $2.74 lower with a weighted average of $85.11.

According to the Weekly Feeder Pig Report, early-weaned pigs were steady to $1 lower and feeder pigs were $4 lower.  The USDA says demand was steady for moderate offerings.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $38.45 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $55.10. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $66. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for light offerings at $59 to $71.  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 higher – up $1.18 at $99.03.  Butts and loins were sharply higher.  Hams and picnics were higher.  Bellies and ribs were sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 474,000 head – up 28,000 on the week and up about 23,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 46,000 head – down 3,000 on the week about 35,000 on the year.

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