Market News

Hog, cattle futures start the week lower

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle are lower ahead of the week’s direct business.  December lives closed $.50 lower at $152.57 and January feeders closed $1.42 lower at $176.87. 

Direct cash cattle trade activity is off to a typically quiet start to the week.  Bids and asking prices have yet to be established.  Showlists this week are mixed – higher in Kansas, but lower in Texas and Nebraska/Colorado.  Significant trade volume isn’t expected to develop until midweek or later. 

At mid-session at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week feeder steers and heifers were $1 to $3 higher with instances of $6 to $10 higher.  Steer calves were $3 to $7 higher.  Heifer calves were $3 lower.  The USDA says quality was average to attractive.  Demand was moderate to good as much of the state received beneficial rains.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 58% steers and 45% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 456 to 499 pounds brought $195 to $232 and feeder steers 658 to 698 pounds brought $175 to $189.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 452 to 498 pounds brought $173.50 to $184 and feeder heifers 600 to 649 pounds brought $164 to $177. 

Boxed beef was mixed on light to moderate demand for light offerings.  Choice closed $2.70 higher at $254.53 and Select closed $5.84 lower at $228.53.  The Choice/Select spread is $26. Estimated cattle slaughter was 128,000 head – even on the week and up 7,000 on the year.  Friday’s estimated cattle slaughter has been revised to 121,000 head and Saturday’s revised to 87,000 head. 

Lean hog futures ended the day lower, pressured by domestic and export demand uncertainties.  December lean hogs closed $3.17 lower at $80.60 and February lean hogs closed $3.75 lower at $84.75. 

Cash hogs closed mixed with solid negotiated purchases.  Processors have been in a pattern recently where they are moving solid numbers at lower prices and then significantly higher numbers at much higher prices.  That looks to continue.  Demand for US pork has held relatively solid on the global market and domestically, but there are concerns it could weaken as the global economy slows.  The industry is also watching the availability of market-ready hogs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.27 higher with a base range of $76.65 to $87.50 and a weighted average of $83.22; there was no comparison at the Iowa/Minnesota but a weighted average of $84.98; the Western Corn Belt closed $.16 higher with a weighted average of $84.95; the Eastern Corn Belt closed $1.87 lower with a weighted average of $81.21.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash market had no comparison but were at $60. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with light demand for light offerings at $49 to $61.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $58 to $68.  Boars ranged from $30 to $35 and $9 to $19. 

Pork values closed higher – up $1.89 at $89.52.   Bellies and picnics were sharply higher.  Loins and ribs were higher.  Butts were about steady.  Hams closed lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 493,000 head – up 5,000 on the week and 10,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated hog slaughter has been revised to 318,00 head. 

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