Market News

Live cattle up, feeders close lower

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were up on follow through buying and support from the week’s direct business. Feeders were down on profit taking. February live was $.80 higher at $180.55 and April was up $.57 at $183.75. March feeders were down $.07 at $244.80 and April was $.32 lower at $250.20.

Some bids were reported in cash cattle country Friday afternoon following Thursday’s light to moderate business. Northern dressed deals were at mostly $280, up $3 on the week. Trade in Texas hit $178, $3 higher, while Kansas sales were up $4 to $5 on the week at $178 and $179.

At Mitchell Livestock Auction in South Dakota, feeder steers up to 650 pounds sold on a higher undertone compared to the most recent sale. Feeder heifers 600 to 950 pounds were $1 to $6 higher. USDA says demand was good for eight consignors with over 150 head of feeders. Feeder supply included 44% steers and 94% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 852 to 896 pounds brought $230 to $244.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 850 to 897 pounds sold for $212 to $218.

Boxed beef cutout values closed mixed with Choice down $1.86 at $293.08 and Select up $.22 at $283.47. The Choice/Select spread was $9.61.

Estimated cattle slaughter was 124,000 head – up 3,000 on both week and year ago levels.

Lean hog futures were mixed, mostly modestly higher, on spread trade and demand expectations. February was down $.35 at $75.45 and April was up $.07 at $83.82.

Cash hogs were mixed with light closing negotiated numbers at the major direct markets. Most buyers had the needed supplies for the rest of the week in hand following a spike in business Wednesday and were looking to save money where possible. The demand outlook continues to be tentatively bullish, but there are concerns the recent relative stability in the wholesale market might not hold much longer.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were down $1.59 with a base range of $57 to $67 and weighted average price of $61.76. The Iowa/Minnesota was $.05 lower with a weighted average price of $63.40. The Western Corn Belt was up $.30 with a weighted average price of $63.40. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets are called steady at $48 with slaughter sows steady at $26 to $29 and boars marked at $10. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices are $2 higher at $27 to $39 and boars are priced at $5 to $20.

Pork values closed steady to lower – down $.19 at $88.40. Bellies and loins were higher. Hams, ribs, picnics, and butts were all lower on the day.

Estimated hog slaughter was 487,000 head – up 12,000 on the week and up nearly 5,000 on the year.

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