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Cattle futures sharply lower Tuesday

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were sharply lower, with boxed beef down sharply at midday, waiting for direct business to get better defined. August live cattle were $2.00 lower at $182.35 and October was down $2.00 at $18.30. August feeder were down $3.45 at $255.72 and September was $3.80 lower at $256.82.

Cash cattle country has been quiet Tuesday with just a few bids on the table in Kansas and Texas at $188. Some early asking prices in those areas have been noted at $190, but have yet to be established in other areas. Significant trade volume will likely be delayed until much later in the week.

At the Oklahoma National Stockyards, feeder steers over 800 pounds were steady to $2 higher compared to the most recent sale. Feeder heifers were steady to $3 higher. USDA says demand was good, and quality and weigh up conditions were uneven. Feeder supply included 52% steers and 72% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 604 to 631 pounds brought $285 to $307. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 764 to 781 pounds sold for $238 to $244.

Boxed beef closed lower with Choice down $4.81 at $325.66 and Select down $.41 at $304.31. The Choice/Select spread was $21.35.

Estimated cattle slaughter was 120,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and down more than 8,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were pressured by the lower midday move in pork and questions about sustained domestic demand. August was down $1.12 at $88.40 and October was $1.75 lower at $70.77.

Cash hogs were mixed with very large closing negotiated numbers at the major direct markets. The day’s trends depended on buyer’s near-term needs and their abilities to use the available supply and questions about domestic demand for leverage. The USDA’s cutout value fell from Monday to Tuesday, continuing to be consistently inconsistent, which limits buyer demand.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were up $.09 with a base range of $77 to $92. The Iowa/Minnesota was down $.13 with a weighted average of $90.80. The Western Corn Belt was up $.01 with a weighted average of $90.94. The Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison, but a weighted average of $89.34.

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $60; slaughter sows were steady at $54 to $60; boars were priced at $18. At Illinois, slaughter sows were $3 lower at $55 to $67; boars ranged from $8 to $28.

Estimated hog slaughter was 476,000 head – up 5,000 on the week and up more than 7,000 on the year.

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