Market News

Light cash cattle trade reported Thursday

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were on short covering ahead of this week’s widespread direct cattle business. April live was up $1.47 at $188.72 and June was $1.32 higher at $184.60. April feeders were $.42 higher at $256.30 and May was up $.67 at $258.45.

Some light cash cattle trade was reported Thursday afternoon in parts of Nebraska at $292, $2 higher than last week’s weighted average. Just a few bids remain on the table in the South, and significant trade volume will likely occur sometime on Friday. Beef exports of 14,000 tons were 14% higher than the previous week, mainly to South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

At Winter Livestock in Kansas, feeder steers and heifers over 700 pounds were steady to $3 higher compared to the most recent sale. Slaughter cows sold steady to $2 higher. Slaughter bulls were steady to $3 lower. USDA says demand was good for a moderate offering. Feeder supply included 68% steers and 85% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 900 to 948 pounds brought $226 to $238.25. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 750 to 796 pounds sold for $227 to $237.

Boxed beef cutout values closed higher with light to moderate movement. Choice was up $1.70 at $306.61 and Select was up $1.17 at $296.26. The Choice/Select spread was $10.35.

Estimated cattle slaughter was 122,000 head – down a thousand on the week and down more than 2,500 on the year.

Lean hog futures were mostly higher on spread trade, the steady to higher cash during the session, and the good weekly export sales numbers. April was down $.47 at $84.52 and May was up $.45 at $91.22.

Cash hogs were steady to higher with light closing negotiated numbers at the major direct markets. It looks like most buyers were still in need of at least a few near-term numbers, even after a couple of days of higher prices and heavier negotiated movement. Negotiated movement Thursday increased minimally from the open to the close. Demand signals are mixed, but mostly positive, with good export sales and the wholesale market holding up relatively well.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were up $.95 with a base range of $71 to $78. The Iowa/Minnesota was up $.63 with a weighted average of $77.42. The Western Corn Belt was up $.77 with a weighted average of $77.17. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $55; sows were steady at $45 to $48; boars were marked at $18.

Pork values closed lower – down $.34 at $91.15.

Estimated hog slaughter was 474,000 head – down 11,000 on the week and down nearly 11,500 on the year.

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