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Hog futures kick off the week mostly higher

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were higher and feeders were mixed watching corn, and waiting for the week’s direct cash business to develop.  April live cattle closed $.65 higher at $118.50 and June live cattle closed $.55 higher at $116.27.  April feeder cattle closed $1.10 lower at $132.75 and May feeder cattle closed $.40 lower at $137.27. 

Direct cash cattle trade activity on Monday was typically quiet.  Showlists this week are mixed – higher in Kansas, Nebraska/Colorado, but lower in Texas.  Bids and asking prices have yet to surface.  It’s likely the business will be delayed until at least midweek or later. 

At midsession at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week feeder steers were steady to $3 lower.  Feeder heifers were $4 to $6 lower.  Steer and heifer calves were lightly tested with a few sales $6 to $9 lower. The USDA says demand was moderate, despite much higher priced corn.  Quality was average to mostly attractive.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 52 percent steers and 75 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 700 to 735 pounds brought $140.50 to $150 and feeder steers 851 to 894 pounds brought $120 to $131.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 600 to 645 pounds brought $130 to $140 and feeder heifers 710 to 743 pounds brought $122 to $131.25. 

Boxed beef ended the day higher on good demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $1.43 higher at $285.20 and Select closed $2.22 higher at $274.35.  The Choice/Select spread is $10.85.   Estimated cattle slaughter is 117,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and up 40,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mostly higher on spread adjustments and long-term demand expectations.  May lean hogs closed $.10 lower at $109.25 and June lean hogs closed $1.12 higher at $106.85. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a fairly light negotiated run.  Processors continue to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  And for the most part, they’ve been aggressive in their procurement efforts and have been bidding up to get their desired numbers.  Global and domestic demand has remained strong, which has been supportive to prices.  The industry expects that to continue, but if a disruption were to occur, it would send prices tumbling. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.48 lower with a base range of $104 to $116.50 and a weighted average of $107.71; the Iowa/Minnesota is $1.37 lower with a weighted average of $111.27; the Western Corn Belt is $1.48 lower with a weighted average of $111.16.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $2 higher than the last reported prices at $64. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were firm with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $55 to $65. Barrow and gilt prices were steady to $3 higher at $67 to $75.  Boars ranged from $40 to $45 and $15 to $20. 

Pork values closed lower – down $2.64 at $109.30.  Bellies closed more than $13 lower.  Hams and loins were also lower.  Picnics, ribs, and butts were higher. 

Estimated hog slaughter is 489,000 head – up 4,000 on the week and up 184,000 on the year.

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