Cattle futures close the week higher
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day higher, supported by the week’s steady cash business higher. October live cattle closed $0.22 higher at $143.87 and December cattle closed $0.07 higher at $149.97. September feeder cattle closed $0.85 higher at $183.42 and October feeders closed $0.47 higher at $185.95.
It was a quiet weekend for the direct cash cattle business. Live bids were mostly $135 to $136 in the south, consistently $1 higher than the previous week’s weighted averages. Nordic clothing deals were mostly marked to $225 to $227, consistently $2 higher than the previous week’s weighted average in Nebraska.
At the Nebraska Valentine auction, compared to two weeks ago, 700-pound steers were $5 higher, 800- to 900-pound steers were up $4 to $6, and 1,000-pound steers were constant. 650 and 800 pound feeder heifers were $3 to $5. USDA says demand has been good with more buyers and an active Internet audience. Earnings are up from two weeks ago and on the year. The feeder supply included 68% steers and 97% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and large 1 feeder bucks 757 to 769 pounds made $209 to $211 and those 800 to 848 pounds made $195 to $201.50. Medium and large feeder heifers 1 764 to 799 pounds made $180.50 to $184.50 and feeder heifers 837 to 846 pounds made $165 to $178.75.
At the Missouri Hay Market, most areas of the southern half of the state finally got some much needed rain. But not close enough to end the drought and restore soil moisture. Hay movement was good as cattlemen in dry areas tried to keep as many cattle as possible. But finding hay locally has been difficult, and transportation costs are not cheap either. USDA says hay prices are steady to the farm and supplies are moderate. Demand is moderate to good. Alfalfa, supreme, medium squares brought $225 to $275. Alfalfa, supreme, small squares brought $8 to $12. Alfalfa, premium, medium squares brought from $175 to $225. Alfalfa, good, big rounds brought $120 to $180. Alfalfa, good, small squares, brought from $5 to $9. Alfalfa, fair, large rounds brought from $100 to $125. Alfalfa/grass mix, good/premium small squares brought $5 to $9.
Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for heavy offerings. Choice ended $2.40 lower at $263.88 and Select closed $1.68 lower at $238.67. The pick/pick margin is $25.21. Estimated cattle slaughter 115,000 head – down 9,000 per week and even per year. Cattle culls were estimated at 39,000 head – down 11,000 on the week and 8,000 on the year.
Lean Hog futures ended the day mixed, adjusting spreads. October lean hogs closed $0.80 higher at $98.40 and December lean hogs closed $0.20 higher at $88.82.
Cash hogs closed lower with a fairly easy negotiated run. Demand for U.S. pork in the global market was strong, which provided support for prices. However, long-term demand uncertainty is putting pressure on prices. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready pigs. Processors have been aggressive in their buying efforts, for the most part, this week. Barrows and gilts at National Daily Direct ended $2.76 lower with a base range of $114 to $136 with a weighted average of $124.43; Iowa/Minnesota ended $0.24 lower at a weighted average of $130.52; The Western Corn Belt ended $0.10 lower at a weighted average of $130.19; The Eastern Corn Belt ended $3.31 lower at a weighted average of $122.99.
According to the USDA’s latest feeder hog report, early weaners and all feeder hogs are up $1 per head. Demand was moderate for moderate offers. The total cash composite range is $34 to $46 and a weighted average of $42.33. The Total Composite formula range is $36.87 to $54.73 and a weighted average of $46.24. The total composite cash range for feeder hogs is $67 to $72 and a weighted average of $70.09. The Total Composite formula range for feeder pigs is $51.83 to $68.87 and a weighted average of $61.08. The weighted average for early weaners was $44.53 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $66.05.
Midwest cash market butcher hogs are steady at $75. In Illinois, cull sow prices were $1 higher with strong demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $66 to $78. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offers from $77 to $86. Boars ranged from $45 to $55 and $10 to $20.
Pork closed firm – up $0.23 at $125.09. Bellies were much higher. Ribs, hams and thighs were all higher. Picnics and thighs were lower. Slaughter estimated at 460,000 head – up 23,000 per week and 11,000 per year. The estimated kill as of Saturday is 61,000, up 52,000 for the week and up 4,000 for the year.
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