Cattle futures end the week higher
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle closed higher supported by strong boxed beef prices and supply concerns in the coming months. August live cattle closed $.42 higher at $123 and October live cattle closed $.30 higher at $127.87. August feeder cattle closed $2.20 higher at $169.85 and September feeder cattle closed $2.17 higher at $163.32.
It was a quiet end for direct cash cattle trade following the moderate business that took place throughout the week. Dressed deals in the North have had a full range of $195 to $202, mostly $197 to $198, steady to $1 higher than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. Southern live deals have had a range of $117 to $122, mostly $121 to $122, generally $1 to $2 higher than last week’s weighted averages.
At the Mitchell Livestock Auction in South Dakota, compared to last week there was a higher undertone noted on steers up to 950 pounds. Steers 950 to 100 pounds were $4 higher and there was a higher undertone noted on steers over 1000 pounds. There was also a higher undertone noted on heifers up to 700 pounds and heifers 700 to 800 pounds were $5 to $6 higher and a higher undertone on heifers 800 pounds and up. The USDA says demand was good with many load lots of heavy cattle. Receipts were up on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 50% steers. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 905 to 937 pounds brought $146.50 to $156.60 and feeder steers 953 to 991 pounds brought $146 to $152.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 773 to 797 pounds brought $148 to $151.50 and feeder heifers 814 to 841 pounds brought $143.50 to $150.25.
At the South Dakota Hay market, all classes of hay were firm compared to the previous week. Demand is very good for all classes and hay types. The drought continues to take a toll on crops, and hay is no exception. The third cutting of alfalfa is taking place right now, and while the quality is high, tonnage is very short. Cattle continue to be sold off grass earlier than normal as producers try to stretch available offerings and prevent them from selling off their herds. Alfalfa, supreme large rounds brought $230, large squares brought $250 to $300. Alfalfa, premium large rounds brought $180 and large squares brought $200 to $255. Alfalfa, premium small squares brought $7.50 per bale. Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $200. Alfalfa/Grass Mix, premium large squares brought $200. Grass premium small squares brought $6. Orchard grass, premium small squares brought $6.50.
Boxed beef closed sharply higher on good demand for moderate offerings. Choice is $3.68 higher at $296.26 and Select is $3.32 higher at $277.09. The Choice/Select spread is $19.17. Estimated cattle slaughter 113,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 4,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 48,000 head – down 10,000 on the week and down 11,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day mostly higher, supported by strong pork values during the session and long-term demand expectations. August lean hogs closed $.72 lower at $108.75 and October lean hogs closed $.47 higher at $87.60.
Cash hogs closed lower with a moderate negotiated run. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts. While prices have pulled back in recently, the strong demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has provided some price support. Overall, that is expected to continue. However, should a disruption occur, prices would likely be negatively impacted. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.76 lower with a range of $98 to $101 and a weighted average of $99.15; the Iowa/Minnesota and the Western Corn Belt closed with a weighted average of $100.12. 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 steady, and all feeder pigs were $2 per head higher. Demand was moderate for moderate offerings and receipt included 52% formulated prices. The Total Composite Cash range was $32 to $49 with a weighted average of $42.50. The Total Composite Formula Range was $36.64 to $48.99 and a weighted average of $45.32. The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $44.21 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $63.90.
Butcher hog markets at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $73. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 to $2 higher with good demand for light to moderate offerings at $69 to $84. Barrow and gilt prices were $1 lower with moderate to good demand for light to moderate offerings at $64 to $74. Boars ranged from $45 to $50 and $10 to $12.
Pork values closed higher – up $.55 at $123.67. Loins, hams, and ribs were all sharply higher. Picnics closed higher. Bellies and butts were sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 455,000 head – up 31,000 on the week and down 21,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 55,000 head – up 43,000 on the week and down 179,000 on the year.