Hog futures continue downward slide
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mixed, and feeders were mostly higher ahead of the week’s direct cash business. Feeders found some additional support from the mostly lower move in corn. April live cattle closed $.40 higher at $162.52 and June lives closed $.62 higher at $156.10. April feeders closed $.07 higher at $194.70 and May feeders closed $.40 higher at $199.55.
It was another quiet day for direct cash cattle trade business on Tuesday. Both bids and asking prices have been slow to surface this week. There was a handful of deals reported on Monday in Kansas at $162 live and in Iowa at $266 dressed, but that’s not near enough to establish a trend. Look for the bulk of the week’s business to take place in the back half of the week.
At the Callaway Livestock Center in Missouri, steer calves 400 to 500 pounds were firm with spots of $5 higher, steers 550 to 600 pounds were $5 to $10 lower giving back last week’s gains on the very active market. Steers 600 to 650 pounds were $2 to $5 lower, and steers 650 to 750 pounds sold steady to firm. Feeder heifers 400 to 550 pounds were firm to $5 higher with the most advance on the 450 to 550 pounds heifers, 550 to 600 pounds were mostly steady, and heifers 600 to 700 pounds were $8 to $10 lower. The USDA says demand was good on a moderate supply with more fall calves in the offering. The market remains very active despite the lower prices. Receipts were up on the week and down on the year. Feeder supply included 50% steers and 47% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 550 to 586 pounds brought $225 to $238.50 and feeder steers 655 to 684 pounds brought $205 to $214. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 561 to 598 pounds brought $194.50 to $207 and feeder heifers 606 to 647 pounds brought $187.75 to $192.
Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for moderate offerings. Choice was $1.10 lower at $279.92 and Select was $2.39 lower at $271.55. The Choice/Select spread is $8.37. Estimated cattle slaughter was 127,000 head – even on the week and up 4,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures were mostly lower, pressured by long-term demand uncertainties. April lean hogs closed $.72 lower at $77.05 and May lean hogs closed $.45 lower at $84.70.
Cash hogs closed higher with a solid negotiated run. The cash hog market has been consistently inconsistent. Following the sluggish start on Tuesday, processors got more aggressive in their procurement efforts in the afternoon and bid up to move their desired numbers. This has been the recent trend in the cash hog market. Ample supplies of market-ready hogs are giving packers a little more leverage. Demand overall has been relatively strong on the global market and domestically, but there are concerns a weakening global economy could put pressure on prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.60 higher with a base range of $70 to $79 and a weighted average of $78.06; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.54 higher with a weighted average of $78.61; the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $76.39. Prices at the Iowa/Minnesota were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $60. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $3 lower with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $48 to $60. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $46 to $58. Boars ranged from $15 to $25 and $8 to $15.
Pork values closed weak – down $.12 at $81.52. Bellies, butts, loins, and ribs were lower. Picnics and hams were higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 485,000 head – even on the week and up 8,000 on the year. Monday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 459,000 head.