Cattle futures end the week higher
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were higher ahead of the USDA’s Cattle on Feed report. Stronger cash business for the week was also supportive. December live cattle closed $.75 higher at $152.42 and February lives closed $.67 higher at $155.52. November feeders closed $.80 higher at $178.35 and January feeders closed $1.12 higher at $180.37.
It was a quiet Friday for direct cash cattle business following an active day on Thursday. Deals for the week were mostly $148, $3 higher than the previous week’s weighted averages. Dressed deals in the North were marked at $236, about $4 higher than the prior week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.
At the Mobridge Livestock Auction in South Dakota, compared to last week steer calves 400 to 500 pounds were $8 to $10 higher, 501 to 550 pounds were steady to $3 lower, 551 to 650 pounds were $3 to $5 higher with spots of $10 higher. Heifer calves 400 to 450 pounds were $2 to $4 lower, 451 to 500 pounds were $2 to $6 higher, 501 to 600 pounds were mostly steady. The USDA says demand was good to very good for the majority of the large calf offering, which included many packages and quite a few loads. All calves came off the cow with flesh condition mostly light to moderate. Quality and preconditioning varied a lot. The market was active. Receipts were up on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 61% steers and 10% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 500 to 545 pounds brought $213 to $232 and feeder steers 555 to 595 pounds brought $203 to $222.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 500 to 545 pounds brought $182 to $201 and feeder heifers 550 to 580 pounds brought $181 to $190.
In Nebraska this past week, hay sales were light in the Platte Valley, Western, and Eastern Nebraska regions and inactive in Central Nebraska. Prices for ground alfalfa, alfalfa pellets, and corn stalks were steady. Good to premium alfalfa in Western Nebraska was $5 lower and ground alfalfa was steady, while prices were firm for alfalfa and prairie hay. In Eastern Nebraska, asking prices for dehydrated alfalfa pellets was unchanged. Alfalfa 17% dehydrated pellets were $420 FOB. In the Platte Valley region, Alfalfa, ground brought $265. Alfalfa 17% dehydrated pellets brought $330. Ground corn stalks brought $165 to $170. In the West, alfalfa, premium, large rounds brought $275. Alfalfa, good/premium large squares brought $240 to $250. Alfalfa, ground, brought $265. Alfalfa, prairie/meadow grass, premium, large rounds brought $270. Triticale, premium, large rounds brought $165.
Boxed beef closed firm to sharply higher on moderate to strong demand for light offerings. Choice closed $.09 higher at $253.71 and Select closed $2.28 higher at $224.36. The Choice/Select spread is $28.14. Estimated cattle slaughter was 122,000 head – up 10,000 on the week and the year. Saturday’s estimated kill was 42,000 head – up 5,000 on the week and down 14,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day mostly higher on technical buying and long-term demand expectations. December lean hogs closed $2.10 higher at $89.12 and February lean hogs closed $1.42 higher at $90.52.
Cash hogs closed lower and sharply lower with a light negotiated run. Processors have been in a pattern with a few days of big negotiated purchases and then backing off their aggressive procurement efforts. That recent trend appears to continue this week. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. While demand has been relatively strong, there are concerns a slowing global economy could impact demand and ultimately weaken prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $5.85 lower with a base range of $85 to $100 and a weighted average of $88.89; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.46 lower with a weighted average of $98.63; the Western Corn Belt closed $.33 lower with a weighted average of $98.63. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
According to the USDA’s weekly Feeder Pig Report, early-weaned pigs were mostly steady and all feeder pigs were $1 per head higher. Demand was moderate for moderate offerings. The Total Composite cash range for early-weaned pigs was $20 to $42.50 with a weighted average of $29.62. The Total Composite formula range for early-weaned pigs was $31.34 to $49.97 and a weighted average of $42.40. The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $36.54 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $51.38.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $60. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with heavy demand for moderate offerings at $59 to $71. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $58 to $68. Boars ranged from $30 to $35 and $9 to $19.
Pork values closed sharply lower down $2.93 at $100.94. Bellies were sharply lower. Hams, butts, loins, ribs and picnics were also lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 478,000 head – up 5,000 on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 145,000 head – up 32,000 on the week and down 84,000 on the year.