Market News

Cattle, hog futures mostly higher at midweek

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were mostly higher waiting for direct cash business to develop. February lives closed $.25 lower at $157.60 and April live closed $.25 higher at $161.55.  March feeders closed $.15 higher at $183.75 and April feeders closed $.42 higher at $188.35. 

It was another quiet day for direct cash cattle business.  Packer inquiry was minimal.  There were a handful of deals reported in the North at $152 to $153, the rest of cattle country was quiet.  Asking prices are around $157 live in the South, but still haven’t been established in the North.  It appears this week’s business will follow the trend of recent weeks, significant trade volume will likely take place Thursday or Friday. 

At the Ozarks Regional Stockyards in Missouri, steer and heifer calves were steady to $4 higher.  The USDA says demand was good on a very light supply.  The market was active as buyers were competing to purchase full loads.  Winter weather was likely a contributing factor to the light receipts.  Feeder supply included 51% steers and 39% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 518 to 544 pounds brought $205 to $216 and feeder steers 765 pounds brought $176.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 461 to 494 pounds brought $177 to $187.50 and feeder heifers 513 to 548 pounds brought $169 to $185. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for moderate offerings.  Choice was $1.36 lower at $268.28 and Select closed $.59 lower at $251.80.  The Choice/Select spread is $16.48.  Estimated cattle slaughter was 127,000 head – up 7,000 on the week and the year. 

Lean hog futures closed mostly higher, adjusting spreads ahead of the Cold Storage numbers on Wednesday.  There was also some additional support from stronger cash and wholesale business.  February lean hogs closed $.30 lower at $76.80 and April lean hogs closed $.05 lower at $85.32.  

Cash hog closed higher with a solid negotiated run. After so many days of being able to move needed numbers at lower cash hog prices, packers had to get more aggressive in their procurement efforts again on Wednesday.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs and demand on the global market and domestically.  While it has been relatively strong, there are concerns it could see additional pressure from the overall economy.  Hog weights are down 0.9 pounds on the week and down 2.4 pounds on the year. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.10 higher with a base range of $67 to $74 and a weighted average of $72.27; the were Iowa/Minnesota closed $.69 higher with a weighted average of $72.74;  the Western Corn Belt closed $1.03 higher with a weighted average of $72.71.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets were $2 higher at $62. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for light to moderate offerings at $30 to $42.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $54 to $64.  Boars ranged from $15 to $20 and $10 to $13. 

Pork values closed lower – down $.95 at $79.11. Bellies, hams, and loins are all lower.  Ribs, picnics, and butts are higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 490,000 head – up 9,000 on the week and up 14,000 on the year. 

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