Moderate cattle trade volume was evident in Nebraska and Iowa on Friday afternoon, but the business was slow to develop in the South. Dressed prices in the North were generally $6.00 higher than a week ago at 220.00. Some live cattle were traded in the North at 138.00 generally 2.00 higher than the previous week. Between greater spending in the North and higher futures prices Southern feeders have dug in their heels in terms of higher asking prices, 140.00 to 142.00.
The weekly cattle kill was estimated by USDA at 536,000 head, 3,000 above last week, and 8,000 more than last year.
Boxed beef cutout values were lower on choice and higher on select on light to moderate demand and offerings. Choice beef was down 1.19 at 224.05, and select was up 1.27 at 215.12.
Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 10 lower to 150 points higher with the front month futures holding strong gains despite pulling off session highs as traders tried to adjust positions at the end of the week. The lack of support in beef values in the morning report eroded the previous support, especially in the deferred contracts and caused some concern about how much follow through gains may develop over the near future.
Feeder contracts ended the day 85 to 112 points higher. Even though support across the market remained strong, prices moved significantly off the session highs as traders pulled back at midday.
Feeder cattle receipts at Missouri auctions totaled 30,691 head this week. Compared to last week, feeder cattle sold unevenly steady to 2.00 higher. The supply was largely made up of calves in the 450 to 750 pound range which is pretty typical for this time of year. Feather weight calves and cattle over 750 pounds were steady to weak but comparable numbers and kinds are somewhat difficult to find from week to week. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 628 pounds brought 188.22 per hundredweight. 624 pound heifers averaged 158.26.
Lean hogs settled 35 lower to 20 points higher in light trade despite the buyer support seen in the cattle earlier in the session. Buyers were unable to find a foothold with April contracts carrying the majority of nearby selling pressure as prices held a .35 loss. The pressure on the front month contracts appeared to be associated more with late week position taking following the recent market rally rather than any other factor.
Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 1.57 lower at 63.56 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West was down 1.49 at 63.21, and nationally the market was 1.32 lower at 62.40. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady from 55.00 to 57.00. Midwest hogs on a live basis were steady to higher from 36.00 to 48.00 in a light test.
The pork carcass cutout value was down .57 at 76.08 FOB plant.
While many analysts believe cash hogs can rally $5 to $10 over the next month, that¬ís going to be a tall order if weekly kills continue to hold in the 2.20 million area or higher.
The weekly hog slaughter is estimated by USDA at 2,215,000 head, 5,000 less than last week, and down 11,000 from last year.
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