Live cattle mostly higher ahead direct business

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Live cattle mostly higher ahead direct business

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed mostly higher and feeder cattle were mostly lower ahead of widespread direct business. Feeder cattle had additional pressure from the day’s higher move in corn.  December live cattle closed $.05 higher at $111.87 and February live cattle closed $.02 higher at $115.10.  November feeder cattle closed $.77 at $140.85 and January feeder cattle closed $.32 lower at $140.40. 

A quiet Tuesday for direct cash cattle trade activity.  Bids were elusive again and asking prices held around $112 live in the South and $175 dressed in the North.  Look for those to be restated on Wednesday.  The Fed Cattle Exchange has an offering of 1,119 head.  It’s likely significant trade volume will be delayed until the latter half of the week. 

At the Callaway Livestock Center in Missouri, compared to last week, steer calves weighing 400 to 650 pounds were $3 to $7 higher with the most advance on 500 to 550-pounds steers.  Feeder heifers weighing 400 to 500 pounds were firm with a higher undertone with a few comparisons from last week, 500 to 650 pounds were steady with spots of $3 higher.  The USDA says demand was moderate to good on a moderate to heavy supply of good quality calves weighing 450 to 650-pounds.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 48 percent steers and 53 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 500 to 549 pounds $163 to $174 and feeder steers 602 to 644 pounds brought $144 to $151.85.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 656 to 684 pounds brought $139.50 to $143 and feeder heifers 706 to 707 pounds brought $139 to $141.50. 

Boxed beef closed sharply higher with strong demand for moderate offerings.  Choice is $4.86 higher at $222.25 and Select is $6.18 higher at $208.55.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and even on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed mixed on spread trade.  Heavy supplies and demand uncertainty are adding volatility to the market. December lean hogs closed $.47 lower at $65.12 and February lean hogs closed $.87 lower at $66.57. 

Cash hogs closed weak to lower with a moderate negotiated run.  Heavy supplies continue to weigh on the market.  The availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample and daily slaughter totals continue to push higher.  While that helps to alleviate some of the pressure in the production system from the backlog of hogs, it does add more pork to an already saturated market.  The industry, however, remains optimistic demand for US pork will continue to strengthen both globally and domestically.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.59 lower with a base range of $55 to $61 for a weighted average of $60.34; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.18 lower with a weighted average of $60.03; the Western Corn Belt closed $.77 lower with a weighted average of $60.02.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash market are steady at $44. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were firm with good demand for moderate offerings at $26 to $40.  Barrow and gilt prices were steady with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $37 to $42.  Boars ranged from $5 to $8. 

Pork values closed sharply lower – down $2.71 at $82.98.  Hams are sharply lower.  Loins and bellies are lower.  Ribs closed weak.  Butts and picnics closed higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 493,000 head – even on the week and the year. 

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