Cattle, hog futures higher heading into Friday
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were sharply higher on an oversold bounce. October live cattle closed $1.60 higher at $186.50 and December lives closed $2.25 higher at $190.42. October feeder cattle closed $2.47 higher at $254.72 and November feeder cattle closed $2.87 higher at $257.67.
A relatively quiet day for direct cash cattle business following back-to-back days of light to moderate trade. A few bids did surface, but didn’t amount to much activity. Southern live deals this week have been at $183, fully steady with the bulk of the previous week’s business. Northern dressed deals have been at mostly $290 to $291, $1 to $2 below the prior week’s weighted averages. Asking prices for what’s left on showlists are around $183-plus live in the South and $292-plus dressed in the North.
At the Bassett Livestock Auction in Nebraska, steers 900 pounds were $7 lower. Steers 950 to 1000 pounds were steady to $2 higher. There were limited comparable offerings for heifers with an offering of heifers, 850 pounds $8 lower. The UDSA says there were several load lots offered, with bidders active both in person and online. Receipts were down on the week and up on the year. Feeder supply included 57% steers and 100% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 929 to 943 pounds brought $240.25 to $256.50 and feeder steers 950 to 995 pounds brought $244.25 to $256. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 871 to 899 pounds brought $235 to $239.75 and feeder heifers 853 to 862 pounds brought $240 to $244.25.
Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for solid offerings. Choice is $.56 higher at $301.51 and Select closed $1.07 lower at $277.44. The Choice/Select spread is $24.06. Estimated cattle slaughter was 124,000 head – even on the week and down 3,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day higher ahead of the UDSA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report. The numbers appear to be bearish in the near-term, but could be bullish long-term. October lean hogs closed $1.82 higher at $83.95 and December lean hogs closed $2.75 higher at $75.25.
Cash hogs closed lower with a light negotiated run. The cash hog market has struggled this week as packers haven’t been very aggressive in their procurement efforts. Market-ready hog supplies are ample, and processors have had very little reason to bid up to move needed numbers. While export sales pulled back some this week, overall demand for US pork on the global market has been strong. However, there are concerns demand could slow domestically as summer grilling season has come to an end. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.86 lower with a base range of $69 to $77 and a weighted average of $74.76; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.75 lower with a weighted average of $75.71; the Western Corn Belt closed $.59 lower with a weighted average of $75.55; no comparisons at the Eastern Corn Belt but a weighted average of $73.61.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $55. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 lower with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $26 to $37. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $39 to $49. Boars ranged from $20 to $25 and $5 to $10.
Pork values closed lower – down $.84 at $96.92. Ribs were sharply lower. Bellies, picnics, butts, and loins were also lower. Hams were higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 481,000 head – down 3,000 on the week and up 5,000 on the year.