Cattle, hog futures higher to end the week
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day higher supported by the sharply higher direct business during the week. June lives closed $1.52 higher at $176.42 and August live cattle closed $.52 higher at $172.90. August feeder cattle closed $.25 higher at $241.90 and September feeders closed $.05 higher at $245.00.
It was a quiet end to the week for direct cash cattle trade following the very active day on Thursday which resulted in sharply higher prices. Deals in the North were marked at mostly $292, $8 higher than the previous week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. Live deals in the South had a range of $175 to $180, mostly $178 to $180, $7 to $9 higher than the prior week’s weighted averages.
In Oklahoma this past week, all classes were lightly tested, likely due to the holiday-shortened week. Feeder steers and heifers were $3 to $8 higher. Steer calves were $10 to $20 higher. Heifer calves were $7 to $14 higher. The USDA says demand was very good for all classes. Receipts were down on the week and up slightly on the year. Feeder supply included 58% steers and 71% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 750 to 796 pounds brought $206 to $225.50 and feeder steers 900 to 949 pounds brought $184 to $207. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 600 to 648 pounds brought $215 to $242.50 and feeder heifers 700 to 739 pounds brought $190 to $212.
In Missouri this past week, hay harvest is well underway and is running behind the five-year average and yields haven’t been great. The latest drought monitor shows more than 80% of the state is in some stage of drought. Interest in hay has been on the rise as many livestock producers are working to acquire inventory now as there is a fear of low supplies and even higher prices later in the year. The supply of hay is light, and demand is moderate to good. Alfalfa, supreme, medium squares brought $250 to $300. Alfalfa, supreme, small squares brought $10 to $15. Alfalfa, premium, medium squares brought $180 to $250. Alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $150 to $180. Alfalfa, small squares brought $5 to $9. Alfalfa, fair, large rounds brought $125 to $150. Alfalfa/grass mix, good/premium small squares brought $5 to $9. Mixed grass, good/premium, large rounds brought $125 to $175.
Boxed beef closed sharply higher on solid demand for moderate offerings. Choice was $3.49 higher at $309.93 and Select closed $4.61 higher at $290.93. The Choice/Select spread is $19.00. Estimated cattle slaughter was 124,000 head – up 6,000 on the week and down 1,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 67,000 head – up 58,000 on the week and down 29,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day higher with expectations of improved demand. June lean hogs closed $3.17 higher at $86.72 and July lean hogs closed $2.60 higher at $84.65.
Cash hogs closed lower with a light negotiated run. The pullback at the end of the week wasn’t a surprise after the huge runs on Wednesday and Thursday. Processors didn’t have an appetite for hogs and didn’t need to bid up to move needed numbers. While export sales were down this week, overall, demand has been relatively strong on the global market and that’s helping to keep prices supported. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $4.82 lower with a base range of $77 to $90 with a weighted average of $81.76 and the Western Corn Belt closed $1.39 lower with a weighted average of $86.53. Prices at the Iowa/Minnesota and Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
According to the USDA’s Weekly Feeder Pig Report, early-weaned pigs were steady and feeder pigs were $3 per head lower. Demand is steady to weak for moderate offerings. The Total Composite Cash Range was $3.50 to $16 and a weighted average of $10.03. Total Composite Formula Range was $11.05 to $50.27 and a weighted average of $35.86. The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $16.98 and the weighted average of all feeder pigs was $41.20.
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 $10 to $20. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $46 to $56. Boars ranged from $15 to $25 and $5 to $10.
Pork values closed lower – down $.96 at $84.72. Butts, hams, loins, and bellies were lower. Picnics and ribs were higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 471,000 head – up 19,000 on the week and down 3,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 119,000 head – up 99,000 on the week and down 27,000 on the year.