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Cattle futures supported by higher boxed beef

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were up ahead of the week’s direct business and Friday’s On Feed numbers, with boxed beef sharply higher at midday. June lives closed $1.50 higher at $182.97 and August lives closed $1.87 higher at $180.42.  August feeders closed $1.35 higher at $259.82 and September feeders closed $1.47 higher at $261.12. 

Direct cash cattle trade activity was quiet again Tuesday.  Bids were nonexistent.  Asking prices in the South were at $188 to $190 live; there were none reported out of the North.  Significant trade volume could hold out until late in the week – especially with Friday’s On Feed numbers. 

At the Callaway Livestock Center in Missouri, steer calves 400 to 500 pounds were $5 to $10 higher.  Steers 500 to 550 pounds were $10 to $15 higher with spots of $18 higher.  Steers 550 to 600 pounds were firm to $5 higher.  Steers 600 to 650 pounds were $5 to $10 higher, and steers 650 to 700 pounds were $3 to $5 higher.  Yearling steers over 700 pounds sold with a sharply higher undertone. Feeder heifers 400 to 500 pounds were firm to $5 higher; heifers 500 to 600 pounds were steady to firm with spots of $5 higher.  Heifers 550 pounds and up were not well tested.   The USDA says demand was good on a moderate supply with overall quality running deep.  The market was very active.  Receipts were up on the week and down on the year.  Feeder supply included 68 percent steers and 43 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 500 to 549 pounds brought $329 to $361.50 and feeder steers 610 to 649 pounds brought $300 to $320.25.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 503 to 548 pounds brought $291 to $307 and feeder heifers 584 pounds brought $301.25. 

Boxed beef closed higher on good demand for moderate offerings.  Choice was $.32 higher at $313.02 and Select closed $1.52 higher at $300.87.  The Choice/Select spread is $12.15. Estimated cattle slaughter was 122,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and down about 6,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures ended the day lower, pressured by technical selling and the lower midday move in pork. June lean hogs closed $.52 lower at $96.40 and July lean hogs closed $.62 lower at $99.32.

Cash hogs closed sharply higher with a solid negotiated run. Processors had to get aggressive in their procurement efforts and bid up to move needed numbers.  Demand for US pork has been strong on the global market and with summer grilling season nearly here – there’s been an uptick in domestic demand.  Both are largely supportive to prices.  The availability of market ready hogs and hog weights are two areas the industry continues to monitor. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were up $1.77 with a base range of $84 to $90 and a weighted average of $88.20; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $2.47 higher with a weighted average of $88.29; the Western Corn Belt closed $2.37 higher with a weighted average of $88.16.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $50. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for light offerings at $35 to $47.  Barrows and 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 lower – down $1.08 at $100.69.  Loins were sharply lower.  Picnics and bellies were lower.  Butts, ribs, and hams were higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 480,000 head – even on the week and up about 4,000 on the year.

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