At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures ended the day lower on technical pressure and weakness in cash and wholesale beef. Feeder cattle were pressured by the day’s firm move in corn. April live cattle closed $.50 lower at $125.77 and June contracts closed $.65 lower at $119. April feeder cattle closed $.10 lower at $144.75 and May contracts closed $.52 lower at $147.27.
A light to moderate trade has developed in parts of the south. Live deals in Kansas and Texas were at $124, generally $1 lower than last week’s weighted averages. There are a handful of sales in Iowa at $205 dressed. Bids in Nebraska are at $203 to $204 dressed. Asking prices remain firm in other areas at $127 to $128 live and $205 dressed.
At the Tri-State Livestock Auction in Nebraska receipts are up on the week and the year. Compared to the last sale, feeder steers were $1 to $5 higher and heifers were $1 to $5 higher. The USDA says demand was good with interest in the crowd and online. Feeder supply included 55 percent steers and 83 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 768 to 797 pounds brought $145 to $151 and feeder steers 920 pounds brought $137.60. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 656 to 668 pounds brought $142 to $151.50 and feeder heifers 700 to 737 pounds brought $139 to $144.
Boxed beef closed firm on moderate demand and offerings. Choice closed $.41 higher at $226.14 and Select closed $.48 higher at $218.97. Estimated cattle slaughter is 121,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and up 2,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures continued to surge higher on demand expectations. April lean hogs closed $.12 higher at $79.07 and May lean hog closed $4.40 higher at $88.40. Cash hogs closed firm with moderate to solid negotiated purchase totals. The supply of ready barrows and gilts is ample, and slaughter runs continue to hit record or near record numbers daily. Demand speculation has helped to support the cash market recently, but there’s still a lot of uncertainty to just how much demand will increase as a result of the ongoing spread of African Swine Fever throughout China. Talks between the US and China picked back up in Washington on Wednesday, while progress continues – there’s still some distance to go before a deal can be reached. Barrows and gilts at the Iowa/Southern Minnesota closed $.87 higher with a range of $71 to $78.50 for a weighted average of $76.62; the Western Corn Belt closed $.50 higher with a range of $67 to $78.50 for a weighted average of $76.25; the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but was in a range of $73 to $76 for a weighted average of $75.06; and the National Daily Direct closed $.61 higher with a range of $67 to $78.50 for a weighted average of $75.89.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $60. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices are $1 to $3 higher at $35 to $49 with good demand for moderate offerings. Receipts are down on the week and the year. Barrow and gilt prices are steady at $46 to $56 with good demand for moderate offerings.
Pork values closed lower – down $1.45 at $80.26. Hams, loins, and butts were lower to sharply lower. Ribs and bellies were steady. Picnics were higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 477,000 head – even on the week and up 12,000 on the year.