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Cattle, hog futures end the day lower after an optimistic start

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly lower, and feeders were lower watching corn and waiting for direct cash business to develop.  October live cattle closed $.10 higher at $143.57 and December live cattle closed $.45 lower at $146.90.  October feeder cattle closed $.95 lower at $176.12 and November feeder cattle closed $.77 lower at $176.27. 

There was a light direct cash cattle trade that took place in the South on Tuesday.  Live deals in Kansas and Texas were at $143, fully steady with last week’s weighted averages.  A few bids did surface in the North at $228.  Look for additional trade volume to pick up over the balance of the week. 

At the Callaway Livestock Center in Nebraska, compared to last week steer calves 400 pounds sold with a lower undertone on a light test.  Steers 400 to 600 pounds were mostly steady with spots of $3 lower.  Steers over 600 pounds sold with a firm to higher undertone.  Feeder heifers 400 to 550 pounds were met with a light test, but sold with a lower undertone.  Heifers over 550 pounds were steady to firm.  The USDA says demand was moderate to good on a moderate supply.  There was a good offering of 5-weight steer calves.  A pot load of 695-pound steers and two pot loads of 808 and 815-pound steers all were met with good demand.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 61% steers and 39% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 514 to 546 pounds brought $206 to $218 and feeder steers 808 to 813 pounds brought $180.25 to $184.75.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 556 to 590 pounds brought $181 to $188.75 and feeder heifers 700 to 740 pounds brought $168.50 to $177. 

Boxed beef closed mixed with light to moderate demand for solid offerings.  Choice closed $.59 higher at $248.43 and Select closed $2.14 lower at $221.21. The Choice/Select spread is $27.22. Estimated cattle slaughter was 128,000 head – even on the week and up 9,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day lower, pressured by long-term demand concerns.  October lean hogs closed $1.67 lower at $88.70 and December lean hogs closed $3.15 lower at $76.25. 

Cash hogs closed sharply higher with a monstrous negotiated run.  Processors were aggressive in their procurement efforts on Tuesday and bid up to move their desired numbers.  Demand for US pork on the global market has been strong, helping provide price support.  All eyes are looking ahead to Thursday’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report from the USDA. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $5.49 higher with a base range of $82 to $103.25 and a weighted average of $97.37; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $4.86 higher with a weighted average of $99.41; the Western Corn Belt closed $4.84 higher with a weighted average of $99.39; the Eastern Corn Belt closed $1.26 lower with a weighted average of $91.21.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at midday at $66. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with light demand for light offerings at $58 to $70.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $60 to $69.  Boars range from $39 to $41 and $9 to $19. 

Pork values closed lower – down $2.48 at $99.01.  Bellies were sharply lower. Butts, loins, and picnics were also lower.  Ribs and hams were higher.   Estimated hog slaughter was 483,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and up 12,000 on the year. 

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