Market News

Hog futures higher on follow-through buying

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mixed and feeders were higher, watching corn and direct cash business develop.  October live cattle closed $.40 lower at $122 and December live cattle closed $.30 lower at $127.50.  October feeder cattle closed $1.35 higher at $156.12 and November feeder cattle closed $1.47 higher at $157.05. 

It was a quiet Tuesday for direct cash cattle trade activity.  Bids were nonexistent.  Asking prices were at $125 live in the South, while they’ve yet to surface out of the North.  Look for business to pick up over the balance of the week. 

At the Tri-State Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared to last week steers and heifers were steady to $8 higher.  The USDA says demand was good on all offerings.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 60% steers and 29% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 501 to 537 pounds brought $172.50 to $190 and feeder steers 600 to 637 pounds brought $155 to $166.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 467 to 495 pounds brought $153 to $172.50 and feeder heifers 584 pounds brought $165. 

Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for moderate offerings.  Choice was $1.14 lower at $301.56 and Select closed $.03 lower at $274.35.  The Choice/Select spread is $27.21.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 121,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 3,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day higher, supported by follow-through buying and the recent higher trend in pork.  October lean hogs closed $1.42 higher at $91.67 and December lean hogs closed $2.02 higher at $83.57. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a solid negotiated run.  Processors continue to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs, which has been more than ample.  They’ve also been able to move their desired numbers without having to aggressively bid up.  There has been strong demand for US pork on the global market and domestically and the industry does expect that to continue.  But there is some uncertainty about the long-term demand picture, which is putting some pressure on prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.10 lower with a base range of $71 to $76 with a weighted average of $74.44; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $74.27; the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $74.15.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $60. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were weak with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $52 to $66.  Barrows and gilts were weak with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $45 to $54.  Boars ranged from $20 to $25 and $12 to $26.   

Pork values closed lower – down $3.83 at $108.12.  Hams dropped more than $20.  Butts were also sharply lower and picnics were lower.  Ribs, bellies, and loins were higher to sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 476,000 head – up 16,000 on the week and down 14,000 on the year. 

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