Market News

Midday cash livestock markets

Direct cash cattle trade activity is very slow to develop again this week.  Bids finally surfaced at $197 live in Nebraska. Asking prices are around $189 live in the South, but not fully established in the North.  Packer inquiry should start to improve as the day progresses, but significant trade volume could hold out until sometime Friday, especially with the Cattle on Feed numbers out in the afternoon.

Boxed beef was higher at midday with good demand for moderate offerings.  Choice is $1.90 higher at $322.60 and Select is $.33 higher at $303.59.  The Choice/Select spread is $19.01. 

At the Hub City Livestock Auction in South Dakota, the best test on steers is 950 to 999 pounds and they were $3 to $5 higher.  Heifers were not well compared.  The USDA says demand was very good for the light offerings.  Quality varied, but there were many average to attractive cattle to choose from.  Flesh was mostly moderate plus.  The market was active.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 52% steers and 87% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 604 to 629 pounds brought $311 to $325 and feeder steers 970 to 982 pounds brought $245.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 624 to 635 pounds brought $286 to $294 and feeder heifers 962 to 990 pounds brought $215.50 to $229.

Cash hogs are mixed at midday with very solid negotiated purchases.  Processors appear to be aggressive in their procurement efforts and in some instances are needing to bid up.  Hog weights dropped back again this week, but are still running nearly 9 pounds above year-ago levels and there is an ample supply of market-ready hogs, which means there is plenty of pork available.  Global demand for U.S. pork is strong, and that’s helping provide price support. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct are $.27 higher with a base range of $85 to $90 and a weighted average of $87.27 and the Western Corn Belt is $.37 lower at $86.74.  Prices at the Iowa/Minnesota and the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported at midday due to confidentiality.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $66. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 higher with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $59 to $71.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $52 to $62.  Boars ranged from $18 to $28 and $8 to $15. 

Pork values were lower at midday – down $1.24 at $96.43.  Loins and hams were both sharply lower and picnics and butts were lower.  Bellies and ribs were both sharply higher.

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