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Cattle futures start the week lower following Friday’s On Feed report

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were lower ahead of the week’s direct cash business as markets continued to digest Friday’s On Feed report.  April live cattle closed $1.30 lower at $186.20 and June live cattle closed $1.30 lower at $181.60.  April feeder cattle closed $1.05 lower at $250.45 and May feeders closed $1.15 lower at $252.62.

Direct cash cattle trade activity started the week in its typically quiet fashion. Bids and asking prices didn’t surface. Showlists this week are mixed: higher in Texas but lower in Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado. It’s likely significant trade volume will hold out until midweek or later. 

At mid-session, at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, feeder steers are $3 to $6 lower.  Feeder heifers are $4 to $8 lower.  Steer calves are steady to $5 lower.  The USDA says demand was moderate to good and quality is mostly average.  Feeder supply included 54% steers and 58% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 607 to 633 pounds brought $289 to $319 and feeder steers 757 to 791 pounds brought $242 to $258.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 500 to 549 pounds brought $285 to $314 and feeder heifers 605 to 639 pounds brought $242 to $288. 

Boxed beef closed higher with solid demand for moderate offerings.  Choice was $.17 higher at $310.89 and Select was $.49 higher at $301.96.  The Choice/Select spread is $8.93.  Estimated cattle slaughter was 109,000 head – down 4,000 on the week and about even on the year.

Lean hog futures found support the higher pork values during the session ahead of this week’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report. April lean hogs closed $.57 higher at $85.15 and May lean hogs closed $1.52 higher at $91.92. 

Cash hogs were higher with a fairly light negotiated run. While the week may be off to a slow start, the cash hog market continues to find some support and prices have reflected that.  Processors generally have been more aggressive in their procurement efforts and have been bidding up to move needed numbers.  Demand has been a crucial component to that.  US pork is seeing solid demand on the global market and finding some strength domestically.  All eyes will be on Thursday’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report.  But the industry continues to monitor available supplies of market-ready hogs and hog weights. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.87 higher with a base range of $73 to $82 and a weighted average of $81.17; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.45 higher with a weighted average of $81.17; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.45 higher with a weighted average of $81.17.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $60. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $50 to $62.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $43 to $53.  Boars ranged from $15 to $25 and $8 to $15. 

Pork values closed higher – up $2.36 at $95.74.  Bellies were up more than $13 to finish the day.  Picnics and butts were also higher.  Loins, hams, and ribs were lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 485,000 head – up 41,000 on the week and up about 2,000 on the year.

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