Market News

Hog futures higher to start the week

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed lower and feeder cattle ended the day higher ahead of the week’s direct business.  February live cattle closed $.20 lower at $115.72 and April live cattle closed $.62 lower at $123.05.  March feeder cattle closed $.20 higher at $139.32 and April feeder cattle closed $.60 higher at $143.27. 

Direct cash cattle trade activity had a quiet start to the week.  Bids and asking prices were scarce and it’s likely significant trade volume will be delayed until the latter half of the week.  Showlists this week appear to be slightly higher in Texas, and lower in Kansas and Nebraska/Colorado. 

At midsession at the Joplin Regional Stockyards in Missouri compared to two weeks ago, steers and heifers under 600 pounds were $7 to $10 higher.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 65 percent steers and 55 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 653 to 698 pounds brought $141 to $153.75 and feeder steers 801 to 824 pounds brought $129 to $140.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 501 to 548 pounds brought $139 to $156.50 and feeder heifers 605 to 646 pounds brought $125 to $138. 

Boxed beef closed higher to sharply higher on good demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $.75 higher at $239.98 and Select closed $2.08 higher at $229.98.  The Choice/Select spread is $10. Estimated cattle slaughter is 119,000 head – up 40,000 on the week and up 2,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the higher, supported by the strong wholesale values during the session and the recent strength in cash business. April lean hogs closed $.62 higher at $85.12 and May lean hogs closed $.45 higher at $87.85.

Cash hogs closed higher with a solid negotiated run.  The industry remains optimistic demand for US pork will continue its strength and that continues to provide price support.  However, the heavy supplies aren’t far from anyone’s mind.  The availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample, and processors continue to push daily slaughter totals.  The combination adds more pork to market.  Should any disruption occur to demand, it would likely send prices tumbling.  Barrows and gilts at National Daily Direct closed $1.30 higher with a base range from $61 to $76 and weighted average of $70.52; the Iowa/Minnesota had no comparison with a weighted average of $72.78, and the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $72.67.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are starting the week out at $50. 

Pork values closed higher – up $.62 at $92.11.  Picnics and bellies were sharply higher.  Loins were higher.  Butts were about steady with ribs and hams lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 497,000 head – up 85,000 on the week and up 2,000 on the year.  Saturday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 167,000 head. 

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