Steve Kay's Friday Market Update

April 11 -- The cash live cattle trade Friday morning was mostly inactive. USDA’s mandatory price reporting (MPR) service reported that Nebraska sold 969 head at $241/cwt. dressed for a weekly total of 5,304 head. Iowa-southern Minnesota data were not available. Kansas sold no cattle for a weekly total of 19 head. Texas sold no cattle for a weekly total of 2,927 head (nearly all grid sales). The MPR weekly totals include negotiated cash and grid sales.

Live cattle futures closed mostly higher. April closed up 85 points at $144.85 (vs. $143.05 last Friday), June closed up 57 points at $135.77, August closed up 65 points at $133.77, October closed up 20 points at $138.22, December closed down 22 points at $140.17 and February closed down 22 points at $141.15.

The week’s cattle slaughter was an estimated 573,000 head (vs. 607,144 head last year), with Friday’s kill 102,000 head and Saturday’s kill 11,000 head. Year-to-date FI slaughter is an estimated 8.288M head, down 6.3% or 560,000 head from 2013’s 8.848M head. Hog slaughter year to date is down 3.9% on last year.

Boxed-beef cutout values were lower on light demand and light to moderate offerings. The Choice cutout declined $2.88/cwt. from the day before to $222.12 ($228.74 last Friday) and the Select cutout declined $1.84 to $212.46 ($217.37 last Friday). The Choice-Select price spread was $9.66 vs. $11.37 last Friday. The reported spot boxed-beef trade for the week was 640 loads of fabricated cuts, up 22.3% from the 523 loads of fabricated cuts last week.

Packer margins for the week were negative by a record $117.02/head, compared to a negative $79.22 the week before, according to HedgersEdge.com.

Have a good week,

Steve Kay

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