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Cattle, hog futures sharply lower to end the week

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle were sharply lower watching direct business unfold.  June lives closed $2.42 lower at $171.47 and August lives closed $2.70 at $168.75.  May feeders are $3.95 lower at $234.20 and August feeders closed $3.45 lower at $245.50. 

Direct cash cattle trade saw light rounds of business on Thursday and Friday.  Live deals in the South were at $182, $2 lower than the previous week’s business.  Northern dressed trade ranged from $293 to $295, $2 to $5 below the prior week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. 

At the Farmers and Ranchers Livestock Commission in Kansas, steer calves under 600 pounds were $10 to $15 lower and steers 700 to 850 pounds were $8 to $10 lower.  Heavier feeders weighing 850 to 950 pounds were $1 lower to $5 higher.  The heifers followed a similar suit, heifers under 600 pounds were $14 to $20 lower, heifers 700-to-800-pound heifers were $8 lower, and heifers 800 pounds and up were $4 higher.  The USDA says there was moderate demand for moderate supply.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 48% steers and 49% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 556 to 588 pounds brought $299 to $321 and feeder steers 907 to 930 pounds brought $226 to $233.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 601 to 634 pounds brought $258 to $276 and feeder heifers 806 to 828 pounds brought $217 to $238.

In Nebraska, all reported hay sales were steady on a very thin test.  The USDA says demand was light.  Several hay producers are holding over several tons of hay as concerns continue about drought and feed availability.  However, there has been some improvement to the drought monitor.  Alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $120.  Can, large rounds, brought $90.  Prairie/Meadow Grass, premium, small squares brought $8.  Prairie/Meadow Grass, utility/fair, large rounds brought $100.  In the East, alfalfa, pellets, 17% pellets, sun-cured, brought $300.  In the Platte Valley area, alfalfa, ground, brought $175.  Pellets 15%, sun-cured brought $350.  Pellets 17% dehydrated brought $350.  In the West, alfalfa, premium, medium squares brought $200.  Alfalfa, utility, large squares, brought $110.  Alfalfa, ground, brought $150 to $180.  Millet, large rounds, brought $115. 

Boxed beef closed higher with good demand for solid offerings.  Choice was $2.20 higher at $300.57 and Select closed $.39 higher at $295.54.  The Choice/Select spread is $5.03. Estimated cattle slaughter was 109,000 head – down 6,000 on the week and down more than 3,500 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 12,000 head – down 12,000 on the week and own more than 1,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day sharply lower on overbought signals with pressure from cash and wholesale business. May lean hogs closed $3.42 lower at $93.87 and June lean hogs closed $3.72 lower at $102.07.

Cash hogs closed lower and sharply lower with a fairly light negotiated run.  Processors were really only aggressive once this week in their procurement efforts and otherwise were able to do business at lower prices.  Demand for U.S. pork on the global market has been strong and domestic demand is also showing some promise.  Both are supportive to the market. Available supplies of market-ready hogs and hog weights remain points of interest for the industry. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were $.45 lower with a base range of $80 to $92 and a weighted average of $86.60; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $3.32 lower with a weighted average of $88.16; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.89 lower with a weighted average of $88.16; the Eastern Corn Belt closed $.05 lower with a weighted average of $85.54.

According to the Weekly Feeder Pig Report, early-weaned pigs were $2 lower and feeder pigs were $6 higher.  The USDA says demand was good for moderate offerings.  The total composite cash range for early-weaned pigs was $34 to $52 and a weighted average of $45.38.  The Total Composite Formula Range for early-weaned pigs was $43.27 to $61.20 with a weighted average of $51.26.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $47.61 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $103.01. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets were $1 lower at $54. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $47 to $59.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $51 to $61.  Boars ranged from $15 to $25 and $8 to $15.

Pork values closed weak – down $.09 at $101.20. Ribs were sharply lower.  Picnics and hams were lower.  Bellies, loins, and butts were higher to sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 484,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 16,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 89,000 head – down 19,000 on the week and down about 80,000 on the year.

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