Market News

Hog, cattle futures higher heading into the holiday

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle closed higher, waiting for direct business to develop.  Feeder cattle found additional support from the day’s lower move in corn.  December live cattle closed $.20 higher at $111.37 and February live cattle closed $.22 higher at $114.17.  January feeder cattle closed $1.57 higher at $140.17 and March feeder cattle closed $1.15 higher at $139.27. 

There was a very light, scattered direct cash cattle trade reported on Wednesday.  Live deals in Kansas were at $111 and in Texas at $110, in Nebraska at $111 live and in Iowa at $110 and $172 dressed.  Those were all about steady to $1 higher than last week’s business, but not enough volume yet to establish a trend.  It looks like the bulk of trade will be pushed to Friday. 

At the Kingsville Livestock Auction in Missouri, compared to last week there was a much lighter run of feeders all of which sold with a steady to firm undertone.  Supply was light due to the holiday week and most cattle sold in smaller groups, but there were some quality cattle still on hand.  Demand was moderate to good.  Feeder supply included 53 percent steers and 43 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 515 to 529 pounds brought $162 to $168 and feeder steers 550 to 574 pounds brought $151 to $153.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 503 to 547 pounds brought $128 to $138 and feeder heifers 771 pounds brought $127.85. 

Boxed beef closed higher on good demand for moderate offerings.  Choice is $.76 higher at $245.06 and Select closed $1.19 higher at $220.90.  The Choice/Select spread closed at $24.16.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 118,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and the year. 

Lean hog futures were supported by the higher wholesale values during the session and optimism about demand.  December lean hogs closed $.87 higher at $66.17 and February lean hogs closed $.92 higher at $67.67. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a light negotiated run.  The industry continues to watch the supply and demand situation.  The availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample, and processors continue to push daily slaughter totals higher.  That’s helping to reduce the backlog of hogs in the production system, and not add to it, but it’s also adding more pork to an already saturated market.  At the same time, there is a lot of uncertainty that surrounds the demand picture – both globally and domestically.  Should a disruption occur, prices would likely drop drastically. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.50 lower with a base range of $51 to $58.50 with a weighted average of $57.39; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.33 lower with a weighted average of $56.19; the Western Corn Belt closed $.68 lower with a weighted average of $56.92.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality. 

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were firm with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $28 to $41.  Barrow and gilt prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $36 to $42.  Boars ranged from $15 to $19 and $5 to $8. 

Pork values closed higher – up $.77 at $78.35.  Loins were sharply higher.  Ribs and hams were higher.  Bellies were steady.  Butts and picnics lower to sharply lower.   Estimated hog slaughter is 494,000 head – even on the week and up  15,000 on the year. 

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