Market News

Hog futures head into the end of the week mostly higher

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were supported by sharply higher boxed beef values and feeder cattle were lower, pressured by the day’s higher move in corn.  June live cattle closed $1.05 higher at $115.47 and August live cattle closed $.75 higher at $118.47.  May feeder cattle closed $1 lower at $130.47 and August feeders closed $1.82 lower at $143.40. 

There was some scattered direct cash cattle trade that developed on Thursday.  Deals were in the South at $119 live, that’s fully steady with the week’s prior business.  Asking prices for cattle left on showlists are around $119 plus live in the South and $192 plus dressed in the North.  It’s likely the bulk of the week’s business has wrapped up, but some cleanup trade could trickle in on Friday.  Demand strength for US pork on the global market and domestically has been very supportive to prices recently, and the industry expects that to continue.  Packers are keeping a close eye on the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  Should any disruption to the supply chain occur it could significantly impact prices. 

At the Mitchell Livestock Auction in South Dakota, there were very few steers offered this week and feeder steers 800 to 850 pounds were steady with a lower undertone noted on steers 850 pounds and up.  There was an unevenly steady undertone noted on heifers up to 850 pounds and heifers 850 to 950 pounds were $1 to $3 lower.  The USDA says demand was good even as grain prices continue to rise.   Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 38 percent steers and 95 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 743 to 747 pounds brought $139 to $139.25 and feeder steers 857 to 894 pounds brought $121 to $128.75.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 855 to 886 pounds brought $114.35 to $116.50 and feeder heifers 911 to 937 pounds brought $113.35 to $116.35. 

Boxed beef closed higher to sharply higher on good demand for moderate offerings.  Choice is $1.59 higher at $306.37 and Select closed $3.18 higher at $289.36.  The Choice/Select spread is $17.01.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 115,000 head – down 4,000 on the week and up 25,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mostly higher, supported by sharply higher pork values during the session and long-term demand expectations.  May lean hogs closed $.02 higher at $111.40 and June lean hogs closed $.05 higher at $114.47. 

Cash hogs closed mixed with a moderate negotiated run.  Demand strength for US pork on the global market and domestically has been very supportive to prices recently, the industry expects that to continue.  Packers are keeping a close eye on the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  Should any disruption to the supply chain occur it could significantly impact prices.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.51 lower with a base range of $108.38 to $125 with a weighted average of $116.42; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.88 higher with a weighted average of $122.54; the Western Corn Belt closed $.70 higher with a weighted average of $121.91.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $70.

Pork values closed higher – up $1.95 at $113.86.  Loins, bellies, hams, and butts were solidly higher.  Ribs were higher.  Picnics were lower.   Estimated hog slaughter is 481,000 head – even on the week and up 147,000 on the year.

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