Cattle futures end the week lower
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day lower ahead of Friday’s Cattle Inventory report. Feeder cattle had additional pressure from the day’s higher move in corn. February live cattle closed $.95 lower at $115.05 and April live cattle closed $.85 lower at $121.85. March feeder cattle closed $2.07 lower at $137.72 and April feeder cattle closed $1.92 lower at $140.75.
A light to moderate direct cash cattle trade took place on Friday. Southern live deals were marked at $113, that’s $3 higher than the previous week’s weighted averages. Live deals in Nebraska were at $112 to $113. Northern dressed deals were at mostly $178 with a few at $180, $5 to $7 higher than the prior week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.
At the Ogallala Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared to last week steers were steady to $4 higher. Heifers were steady to $9 lower, except 600 to 700-pound heifers which were $3 to $4 higher. The USDA says demand was good. Receipts were down on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 55 percent steers and 66 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 653 to 598 pounds brought $141 to $155 and feeder steers 703 to 745 pounds brought $139.50 to $150.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 506 to 549 pounds brought $154.50 to $165.50 and feeder heifers 600 to 643 pounds brought $140.50 to $147.
At the South Dakota hay market, compared to last week alfalfa and grass hay were steady. There were just a few reported sales this week. The USDA says demand is only moderate and the best demand is coming from out of state areas looking for high testing alfalfa. The milder winter has lessened the need for supplemental feedings. Alfalfa, Supreme large squares brought $240 and premium large squares brought $200. Alfalfa, good/premium large rounds brought $150 FOB and $170 delivered. Alfalfa, good large squares brought $185. Grass, premium large rounds brought $110. Round corn stalks brought $40 and small square oat straw brought $5 per bale.
Boxed beef closed higher on good demand for light offerings. Choice is $1.96 higher at $233.95 and Select is $1.82 higher at $222.70. The Choice/Select spread is $11.25. Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 62,000 head – down 7,000 on the week and up 30,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day mixed on spread adjustments. February lean hogs closed $.15 lower at $69.80 and April lean hogs closed $.27 higher at $76.65.
Cash hogs closed lower with a moderate negotiated run. The availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample, and processors continue to push daily slaughter totals higher. That’s keeping supply chains moving, but it is also adding more pork to the market. The industry remains optimistic demand for US pork will remain strong, but there is concern prolonged economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic could impact demand. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.23 lower with a base range of $53 to $56.63 with a weighted average of $56.48; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.85 lower with a weighted average of $57.50; the Western Corn Belt closed $.31 lower with a weighted average of $57.76. The Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison, but a weighted average of $56.24.
According to this week’s Feeder Pig Report from the USDA, early-weaned pigs were $3 per head higher and all feeder pigs were $2 per head lower on light receipts. Demand was moderate on light offerings and receipts included 52 percent formulated prices. The Total Composite cash range for early-weaned pigs was $46 to $65 for an average of $61.48. The Total Composite formula range for early-weaned pigs was $39.12 to $63.47 for an average of $48.62. The weighted average all early-weaned pigs was $54.41 and the average for all feeder pigs was $67.76.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $42. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices are $2 higher with good demand for heavy offerings at $36 to $48. Barrow and gilt prices are $1 higher with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $35 to $40. Boars ranged from $15 to $20 and $5 to $10.
Pork values closed higher – up $1.87 at $85.36. Hams are sharply higher. Bellies and butts closed higher. Ribs, picnics, and loins were lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 487,000 head – down 3,000 on the week but up 4,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 249,000 head – down 78,000 on the week and up 14,000 on the year.