Market News

Hog futures higher on demand potential

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day mixed on spread adjustments.  Feeder cattle were mixed on the same factors.  December live cattle closed $.15 lower at $120.42 and February live cattle closed $.22 lower at $125.10.  January feeder cattle closed $.22 lower at $142.55 and March feeder cattle closed $.22 lower at $143.45. 

A light to moderate direct cash cattle trade took place in Kansas and Texas on Thursday at $119, live. That’s fully steady with the prior week’s weighted averages.  The North was fairly quiet with just a handful of trade reported, also at $119 live.  Asking prices for cattle left on showlists are at $121 to $122 live in the South and $190 to $192 dressed in the North. 

At the Huss Livestock Market in Nebraska, compared to last week, steers sold steady to $3 lower except 550 to 600 pounds and weaned steers sold $10 higher.  Heifers sold $1 to $7 lower, except 600 to 750-pound heifers sold $1 to $4 higher.  The USDA says demand was good from the buyers in the crowd.  Receipts of 4,328 were up slightly on the week and down on the year.  Feeder supply included 59 percent steers and 69 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 650 to 693 pounds brought $145 to $155 and feeder steers 700 to 725 pounds brought $137 to $141.75 and Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 600 to 645 pounds brought $137 to $147 and feeder heifers 700 to 747 pounds brought $133 to $146.75. 

Boxed beef closed lower to sharply lower on light demand and heavy offerings.  Choice closed $3.00 lower at $215.65 and Select closed $1.16 lower at $202.56.  The Choice/Select spread narrowed to $13.09.   Estimated cattle slaughter is 121,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and even on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day higher on positive demand potential and technical buying.  December lean hogs closed $.30 higher at $61 and February lean hogs closed $.92 higher at $68.65. 

Cash hogs ended the day mixed with moderate negotiated purchases.  The supply and demand situation continues to drive the market.  While there has been plenty of optimistic news about demand potential, the cash market is taking a wait and see approach. The heavy supplies are making it very difficult for the market to make a substantial push higher.  Should the demand for US pork see a big boost on the global market, we could start to see cash hog prices move higher.  Barrows and gilts at the Iowa/Southern Minnesota closed $1.29 lower at $46.97; the Western Corn Belt closed $.98 lower for a weighted average of $47.23; the Eastern Corn Belt closed $.50 higher for a weighted average of $48.47; and the National Daily Direct closed $.11 lower with a base range of $42 to $49.75 for a weighted average of $47.94. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $4 higher at $40.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with light demand for very heavy offerings at $17 to $31.  Receipts were down on the week and up on the year.  Barrow and gilt prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $27 to $34. 

Pork values closed lower – down $1.53 at $81.66.  Bellies, loins, ribs, and hams were lower to sharply lower.  Butts were firm and picnics closed higher.  Estimated hog slaughter is 495,000 head, down 1,000 on the week and up 17,000 on the year.  Wednesday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 488,000 head. 

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