Market News

Demand concerns continue to pressure hog futures

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were higher watching direct business develop, and getting ready for Friday’s on feed numbers.  October live cattle closed $.95 higher at $125.95 and December live cattle closed $.50 higher at $130.52.  October feeder cattle closed $.82 higher at $155.92 and November feeder cattle closed $.50 higher at $159.35. 

It was a fairly active day for direct cash cattle trade on Wednesday.  Live deals in the South were at $124, fully steady with last week’s weighted averages.  Northern dressed business was at $196, fully steady with last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  Look for asking prices to be restated at $126 plus live in the South and $198 to $200 dressed in the North.  Today’s Fed Cattle Exchange was a dud with an offering of 2,757 head and zero head sold. 

At the Kingsville Livestock Auction in Missouri, compared to last week, steers and heifers were steady to $4 higher.  The USDA says there was a mix of both calves and yearlings to make up the moderate supply.  Several smaller to mid-sized groups of yearlings off grass were met with good demand.  Calves sold with moderate to good demand.  However, the good grass and decent weather is keeping many calves at home.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 51% steers and 52% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 568 to 597 pounds brought $169.75 to $176.50 and feeder steers 762 to 790 pounds brought $155.75 to $166.75.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 502 to 523 pounds brought $149 to $161.75 and feeder heifers 661 to 688 pounds brought $147.75 to $158. 

Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $.85 lower at $280.03 and Select closed $1.27 higher at $262.80.  The Choice/Select spread is $17.23. Estimated cattle slaughter is 121,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and 2,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day lower were pressured by steady to lower cash business and long-term pork demand.  December lean hogs closed $1.37 lower at $76.02 and February lean hogs closed $1.22 lower at $79.22.

Cash hogs ended the day about steady with a large negotiated run. The availability of market-ready barrows and gilts is more than ample, and processors have been able to move their desired numbers at lower prices recently.  Demand has been holding strong on both the global market and domestically, but there are long-term demand concerns, which have been adding pressure to prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.04 lower with a base range of $65 to $69 and a weighted average of $66.93; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $68.11; Western Corn Belt has a weighted average of $67.78; the Eastern Corn Belt has a weighted average of $66.34.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets in Dorchester, Wisconsin and Garnavillo, Iowa are steady at $60 and lower in Red Oak, Iowa at $45. 

Pork values closed lower – down $2.40 at $96.87.  Bellies dropped more than $28 on Wednesday.  Ribs, butts, and loins were lower to sharply lower.  Hams closed sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 478,000 head – up 5,000 on the week and down 5,000 on the year. 

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