Market News

Cash hogs steady to higher, more market support likely

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were higher, oversold after Tuesday’s liquidation and at least a little optimistic about this week’s slow to develop direct cash cattle business.

It was a rather quiet day on Wednesday for direct cash cattle trade. Bids and asking prices still haven’t been established, although an offer of $287 in Nebraska was passed. Significant trade volume is likely to be delayed until Friday.

At the Philip Livestock Auction in South Dakota, feeder steers 350 to 400 pounds sold $10 to $12 lower and feeder steers 550 to 600 pounds were steady to $2 higher compared to the most recent sale. Feeder heifers 350 to 400 pounds sold $4 to $6 lower and feeder heifers 550 to 650 pounds were $7 to $9 lower. USDA says demand was very good for several long strings and many load lots. Several packages of feeder steers and heifers sold on a moderate to active market. Feeder supply included 65% steers and 28% of the offering was over 600 pounds.

Boxed beef was mixed at the close. Choice was down $1.63 at $298.75 and Select was $1.55 higher at $271.03. The Choice/Select spread was $27.72.

Estimated cattle slaughter was 124,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and down 4,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were lower, pressured by the lower midday move in pork and higher average hog weights. December was down $1.40 at $71.50 and February was $1.17 lower at $74.85.

Cash hogs were steady to higher with very light closing negotiated numbers for the major direct markets. Some buyers did have to raise bids just a little and given how few numbers were moved at midweek, the market could find more support Thursday and Friday. However, the wholesale market has now closed lower for two consecutive days with the cutout value losing a lot of ground and hog weights were higher. The average barrow and gilt weight in the Iowa/Southern Minnesota/South Dakota reporting area for the week ending November 4th was 286.7 pounds, up 1.3 on the week and 3.2 on the year.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were up $.20 with a base range of $62 to $71 and weighted average price of $68.27. The Eastern Corn Belt was $.15 higher with a weighted average price of $69.79. The Iowa/Minnesota and Western Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hogs at the Dorchester, Wisconsin markets are trending steady at $55 with 380 head reported; sows are steady at $36 to $42; and boars are $12 to $18. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices are $1 higher with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $41 to $54; barrows and gilts are steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $40 to $50; boars are $18 to $21 and $5 to $10.

Pork values closed lower on Wednesday – down $1.19 at $86.58. Ribs and butts were higher. Bellies, hams, picnics, and loins were lower.

Estimated hog slaughter was 488,000 head – up 6,000 on the week and up 9,000 on the year.

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