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Cattle futures up ahead of week’s direct trade

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were higher, getting ready for the week’s direct business, with boxed beef higher at midday. There was minimal for feeders from the lower corn. December live was up $1.40 at $153.05 and February was $.65 higher at $155.02. November feeders were $.40 higher at $178.22 and January was up $.30 at $179.92.

Direct cash cattle business was at a standstill. The day’s big feature was the distribution of this week’s show list, with bids and asking prices not defined. Widespread trade is expected to wait until the second half of the week. Last week’s business was mostly at $150 on the live basis in the south, steady with the previous week, and mainly at $242 dressed in the north, about $2 higher.

Boxed beef closed higher with moderate to heavy movement. Choice was up $.80 at $264.55 and Select beef was $4.02 higher at $235.92. The estimated cattle slaughter of 123,000 head was down 5,000 on the week, but up 3,000 on the year.

At midsession for the Oklahoma National Stockyards feeder cattle sale, compared to the previous week, feeder steers and steer calves were unevenly steady. Feeder heifers were steady to $3 higher, while heifer calves weighing less than 500 pounds were steady to up $5 and heifer calves weighing more than 500 pounds were steady. The USDA says demand was moderate to good for an average to attractive offering with receipts up on the week and the year. 59% of the offering were steers and 59% of all feeder cattle weighed less than 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers weighing 500 to 600 pounds were reported at $170 to $199 and 600 to 700-pound steers brought $171 to $189. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers weighing 400 to 500 pounds ranged from $165 to $188 and 500 to 600-pound heifers sold at $163 to $178.50.

Lean hog futures were supported by demand expectations and the higher midday move in pork. December was up $4.07 at $87.05 and February was $2.62 higher at $89.05.

Cash hogs were steady to modestly lower with moderate closing negotiated numbers for the major direct markets. Buyers didn’t move a lot of ready numbers last week, but this week has still started with lower bids as those buyers assess near-term needs and demand signals. Increased bids could start Tuesday.

National direct barrows and gilts closed $.41 lower with a base price range of $80 to $92.50 for a weighted average of $84.77, with Iowa/Southern Minnesota down $.44 and the Western Corn Belt $.03 lower, both at $88.68.

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $60. Illinois direct sows were steady at $59 to $71 with light demand for moderate offerings. Barrows and gilts were steady at $58 to $68 on moderate demand and offerings. Boars ranged from $9 to $35.

Pork closed $.23 higher at $96.95. Loins, butts, ribs, hams, and bellies were firm to sharply higher, while picnics were sharply lower. The estimated hog slaughter of 494,000 head was up 8,000 on the week and 25,000 on the year.

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