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The cash cattle market appears to be pretty well completed for the week, although some cleanup business may continue through tomorrow. Tuesday’s trade was moderate to active with live sales 1.00 to 3.00 lower from 112.00 to 113.00 and dressed sales were 2.00 to 4.00 lower at mostly 179.00. Asking prices for the balance of the cattle on the showlists are around 115.00 in the South and 181.00 to 182.00 in the North. Wednesday’s cattle kill is estimated at 126,000 head, the same as last week, but 3,000 smaller than a year ago.
Boxed beef cutout values were lower on choice and weak on select on light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings. Choice beef was down 2.29 at 182.16, and select was down .30 at 172.50.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 260 to the 300 point limit higher. Aggressive short covering was the main feature on ideas the corn market is momentarily out of gas. Additionally traders reacted favorably to news from Japan that progress is being made concerning age restrictions on U.S. exports. Specifically, some are suggesting that Japan will accept beef harvested from cattle up to 30 months of age as early as November according to DTN. August settled 2.60 higher at 118.07, and October was up 2.85 at 122.85.
Feeder cattle have seen limit moves over the last several trading sessions, but on Tuesday the moves were on the positive side and they closed 2.97 to 3.00 higher. Support came from the strong gains in the live pit and some erosion in the corn futures market during the morning session. Uncertainty still remains about the long term direction of the market. August was 3.00 higher at 137.20, and September was up the limit at 140.00.
Feeder cattle receipts at the Ozarks Regional Stockyards at West Plains, Missouri totaled 3163 head. Compared to last week’s sharp decline, steer calves weighing less than 650 lbs. were an additional 10.00 to 25.00 lower this week, with weights under 450 lbs. 20.00 to 30.00 lower, weights over 650 lbs. were 5.00 to 8.00 lower, although a load lot of 8 weights sold near steady. Feeder steers medium and large 1 weighing 500 to 600 lbs. traded from 129.00 to 135.00, 5 to 6 weight heifers’ brought 113.00 to 124.00.
Lean hogs settled 92 to 267 points higher. The combination of weaker corn futures prices during the morning trade, higher cattle futures and the strong surge in cash hog prices created additional support through the lean hog market. There are still questions if renewed longer term buyer support can be established at current feed price levels. August settled 2.67 higher at 92.62, and October was up 2.37 at 80.05.
There was moderate market activity with moderate demand in the cash hogs on Wednesday. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 5.05 higher at 96.08 on a carcass basis, the West was up 4.69 at 95.60, and the East was .60 lower at 85.09. Missouri direct base carcass, meat price closed steady to 4.00 lower at 81.00. Terminal hogs were mostly steady from 59.00 to 62.00.
Pork trading was slow with light to moderate demand and offerings. Pork carcass cutout value was up .38 at 90.41.
Hog buyers put more money on the table on Wednesday in an effort to secure more hogs for late week slaughter needs. Hog numbers remain tight and some producers held off marketing waiting for better cash prices.
Wednesday’s hog kill was estimated at 398,000 head, 8,000 more than last week, but 6,000 less than last year. Hog slaughter for the first three days of the week is running 7,000 head less than last week and down 33,000 head from last year.