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Cattle, hog futures higher at midweek

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day higher, watching direct cash business develop at steady prices, with feeders finding additional support in the day’s lower move in corn.  December live cattle closed $.40 higher at $153.07 and February live cattle closed $.87 higher at $155.67.  January feeder cattle closed $2.47 higher at $180.47 and March feeders closed $2.27 higher at $183.45. 

There was a light to moderate trade that took place in the South on Wednesday. Live deals were at $155, fully steady with last week’s business.  A few bids surfaced in Nebraska at $156 to $157 live, but no bites.  The North has been very quiet, and it’s likely more business will develop over the balance of the week.   

At the Interstate Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to two weeks ago, feeder steers under 600 pounds were $2 to $7 higher.  Steers over 600 pounds were $4 higher.  Feeder heifers were steady to $4 higher.  The USDA says demand was good for the heavy supply in the post-Thanksgiving sale.  Receipts were up from the most recent sale and on the year.  Feeder supply included 52% steers and 54% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 614 to 644 pounds brought $170 to $183.50 and feeder steers 705 to 747 pounds brought $164.50 to $172.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 500 to 546 pounds brought $166 to $175.50 and feeder heifers 600 to 641 pounds brought $164 to $172.   

Boxed beef ended the day mixed on light to moderate demand for heavy offerings.  Choice closed $.14 higher at $254.88 and Select closed $.81 lower at $225.01.  The Choice/Select spread is $29.87.  Estimated cattle slaughter was 128,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 4,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures were supported by the day’s sharply higher cash and wholesale business.  December lean hogs closed $1.82 higher at $82.90 and February lean hogs closed $1.20 higher at $85.35.

Cash hogs closed sharply higher with a huge negotiated run.  Processors were very aggressive in their procurement efforts and bid up to move their desired numbers.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs and the demand situation.  While demand has remained relatively strong on the global market, concerns about a slowing global economy puts demand under a cloud of uncertainty and adds volatility to prices.  Hog weights this week rose to 285.1 pounds, up 0.7 pounds on the year and down 4.3 pounds on the year.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.15 higher with a base range of $74 to $88 and a weighted average of $86.06; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.31 higher with a weighted average of $86.74; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.25 higher with a weighted average of $86.68; the Eastern Corn Belt closed $2.98 higher with a weighted average of $84.18.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $60.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $47 to $59.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $58 to $68.  Boars ranged from $30 to $35 and $9 to $19. 

Pork values closed higher – up $1.65 at $87.33.  Hams are sharply higher.  Loins and picnics are also higher.  Butts, bellies, and ribs are all lower.  Estimated hog slaughter was 494,000 head – up 46,000 on the week and up 15,000 on the year.  Tuesday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 487,000 head. 

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