Direct cash cattle markets are quiet and it looks like business has wrapped up for the week, aside from some possible clean-up trade. After moderate activity in the South Wednesday and in the North Thursday, asking prices for the unsold cattle are around $122 to $124 on the live basis in the South and $192+ dressed in the North. Most of Thursday’s business was at $190 dressed in the North, up $2 from last week’s weighted average in Nebraska, with a few sales mainly at $120 live in the South, also up $2 on the week.
Boxed beef at midday was lower, with Choice down $.60 at $209.25 and Select $1.86 lower at $195.40.
At the Farmers and Ranchers Livestock Commission Company feeder cattle auction in Salina, Kansas, in the first sale after the harvest break, the USDA says trade and demand were both moderate. The offering was made up of several large strings of good quality heavy yearlings. 61% of the feeders were steers and 90% of the run weighed 600 pounds or heavier. 600 to 700 pound feeder steers sold at $153.50 to $169.50 and 800 to 900 pounders brought $143 to $154. 600 to 700 pound feeder heifers ranged from $140 to $165 and 700 to 800 pound heifers were reported at $135 to $149.
Cash hogs are steady to modestly lower. Profit margins have narrowed somewhat over the past few days because of the decline in the wholesale market, reducing buyer interest. Near term, the market is still looking at generally tight available supplies, but those numbers should start to expand either later this month or early next month. Seasonally, the wholesale pork market may be near a top.