Market News

Midday cash livestock markets

Direct cash cattle markets are at a standstill. There are a few asking prices around $178 to $180 on the live basis in Kansas, but otherwise, the major feeding areas remain very quiet with no reported bids. Some very light trade was reported Tuesday in Kansas at $176 live and Iowa at $175 live and $275 dressed. It looks like this week’s widespread direct business will wait until tomorrow, if not Friday. The USDA’s semi-annual Cattle Inventory report is out at 3 Eastern/2 Central. Ahead of the numbers, on average, analysts expect year-to-year declines in all of the major categories.

At the Winter Livestock Auction feeder cattle sale in Colorado, compared to last week, steers were up $4 to $17 and heifers were $2 to $11 higher, with instances of sharply higher moves across all weight classes for both. The USDA says trade activity and demand were both very good, with receipts down on the week, but up on the year. 92% of the offering were feeder cattle, 56% of that were steers, and 55% of all feeder cattle weighed more than 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers weighing 600 to 700 pound ranged from $257 to $287.50 and 700-to-800-pound steers sold at $223 to $245. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers weighing 500 to 600 pounds were reported at $265 to $286 and 600-to-700-pound heifers brought $233 to $249.

Boxed beef at midday was firm with light movement. Choice was up $.09 at $296.16 and Select beef was $.31 higher at $287.36 for a spread of $8.80.

Cash hogs are steady to sharply higher with light to moderate opening negotiated sales at the major direct markets. After the slow start to this week due to aggressive procurement last week, it looks like buyers are now once again in need of near-term supplies. The average barrow and gilt weight in the Iowa/Southern Minnesota/South Dakota reporting region last week was 291.8 pounds, down three tenths on the week, but up 5 on the year. The USDA’s weekly export sales numbers are out Thursday morning.

National direct barrows and gilts opened $2.06 higher with a base price range of $55 to $66.50 for a weighted average of $62.36, while Iowa/Southern Minnesota was up $2.19 at $62.71 and the Western Corn Belt was $2.46 higher at $62.98. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality. Midwest butcher hogs are steady at $48. Illinois direct sows are steady at $23 to $35 on moderate demand for heavy offerings. Barrows and gilts are steady at $24 to $34 with moderate demand and offerings. Boars range from $5 to $20.

Pork at midday was up $.33 at $88.88. Loins and hams were firm and bellies were sharply higher, while butts, picnics, and ribs were weak to sharply lower.

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