Market News

Hog, cattle futures supported by broader markets

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were supported by the broader markets and the higher boxed beef prices during the session.  December live cattle closed $3.17 higher at $111.92 and February live cattle closed $2.92 higher at $115.07.  November feeder cattle closed $3.92 higher at $141.62 and January feeder cattle closed $4.80 higher at $140.72. 

Direct cash cattle trade activity started the week quietly.  Showlists this appear to be lower across all feeding areas.  Bids have yet to be surface and there were a few early asking prices noted at $112 live in the South and $175 plus, dressed in the North.  It’s likely significant trade volume will be delayed until at least Midweek or later. 

At the Oklahoma National Stockyards, feeder steers are $4 to $7 higher and feeder heifers were not well tested in the early rounds.  Steer calves were $4 to $8 higher and heifer calves were mostly firm at the open.  The USDA says demand was very good for calves.  Quality was average to attractive.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 63 percent steers and 40 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 503 to 549 pounds brought $151 to $164 and feeder steers 652 to 696 pounds brought $138 to $145.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 551 to 593 pounds brought $130 to $150 and feeder heifers 634 to 642 pounds brought $124 to $131. 

Boxed beef closed sharply higher on strong demand for moderate offerings.  Choice is $3.07 higher at $217.39 and Select is $3.88 higher at $202.37.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 117,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and up 5,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed higher, supported by broader markets and the higher wholesale values during the session.  December lean hogs closed $.70 higher at $65.60 and February lean hogs closed $.42 higher at $67.45. 

Cash hogs closed firm with a moderate negotiated run.  The industry continues to watch the supply and demand picture.  The market remains optimistic demand for US pork will continue to grow both globally and domestically.  That’s supportive to prices.  However, heavy supplies are worrisome as daily slaughter totals continue to rise and the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts remain more than ample.  The combination adds more pork to an already saturated market. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct are $.68 higher with a base range of $55 to $63 for a weighted average of $60.93; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.73 higher with a weighted average of $61.64; the Western Corn Belt closed $.28 higher with a weighted average of $61.19.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $44. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were firm with good demand for moderate offerings at $26 to $40.  Barrow and gilt prices were weak with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $37 to $42.  Boars ranged from $5 to $8. 

Pork values closed higher – up $1.63 at $85.69.  Hams, picnics, and ribs were all sharply higher.  Loins closed firm.  Butts were weak and bellies closed sharply lower.  Estimated hog slaughter is 493,000 head – even on the week and up 49,000 on the year. 

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