Cattle, hog futures end the week lower
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were lower on technical selling. There was likely also at least some disappointment the week’s direct business was only steady to firm. February live was down $.57 at $156.77 and April was $.60 lower at $160.67. March feeders were $.90 lower at $185.65 and April was down $.70 at $189.82.
Direct cash cattle trade ended the day quiet with Southern live deals at mostly $157, fully steady with the prior week’s weighted averages, Northern dressed trade was at mostly $252, roughly $0.50 higher than last week’s weighted averages basis Nebraska.
At the Winter Livestock Auction at Pratt, Kansas, compared to the last sale, feeder steers 750 pounds to 900 pounds sold $2 lower. Steers 600 pounds to 750 pounds sold steady to $2 higher. Steer calves 400 pounds to 600 pounds sold steady to $4.00 lower, however reputation calves and thin fleshed calves sold $5.00 higher. Feeder heifers 750 pounds to 950 pounds sold $5.00 to $6.00 higher. Heifer calves 400 pounds to 750 pounds sold steady to $2 lower. The USDA says demand was moderate. Receipts were down on the week and year. 62 percent of the feeder supply was steers and 62 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 509 to 545 pounds ranged from $212 to $225 and feeder steers 605 pounds to 646 pounds ranged from $186 to $195.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 556 pounds to 590 pounds ranged from $176 to $186.50 and feeder heifers from 753 to 767 ranged from $164 to $174.25.
Boxed beef cutouts closed higher with Choice up $1.36 at $282.99 and Select $2.39 sharply higher at $259.24. The Choice/Select spread is $23.65. Estimated cattle slaughter totaled 125,000 head, 3,000 more than last week, and 14,000 more than a year ago.
Lean hog futures were down sharply on long-term pork demand uncertainties. February was $2.25 lower at $80.27 and April was down $1.87 at $89.65.
Cash hogs closed higher. Processors were aggressive in their procurement efforts to close out the first week of the new year. Pork demand on a global scale remains strong despite concerns about slowing global economy. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were $.08 higher with a base range of $69 to $77 with a weighted average price of $74.47; Iowa/Southern Minnesota were $1.66 higher with a weighted average price of $76.01; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.02 higher at $75.57; the Eastern Corn Belt did not report due to confidentiality reasons. Butcher hog prices are steady with barrows and gilts at $58. Boars are $13.
Pork values closed $.32 lower at $84. Ribs, butts and picnics were sharply lower and hams were lower. Loins were higher. Estimated hog slaughter 453,000, down 2,000 on the week, but up 2,000 on the week.