Hog futures lower ahead of Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were higher, optimistic about this week’s direct cash business. April live cattle closed $.87 higher at $165.82 and June live cattle closed $.75 higher at $159.60. April feeders closed $.97 higher at $198.20 and May feeders closed $1.72 higher at $202.52.
It was another slow day for direct cash cattle trade business. Asking prices were firm at $165 to $167 live in the South, while the North remained quiet. Bids didn’t surface on Wednesday. Significant trade volume will likely take place sometime Thursday or Friday.
At the Kingsville Livestock Auction in Missouri, steers and heifers were mostly steady. Some thin-fleshed heifers 575 to 625 pounds were $5 to $8 higher. The USDA says there was a nice offering of yearlings on hand. There were more yearling heifers offered this week than steers. Demand was good for both calves and yearlings on a moderate supply. Receipts were down on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 64% heifers and 60% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 593 pounds brought $207.50 and feeder steers 763 pounds brought $203.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 400 to 444 pounds brought $230 to $239.50 and feeder heifers 708 to 711 pounds brought $192.85 to $193.25.
Boxed beef closed lower with light demand for moderate offerings. Choice was $.34 lower at $280.29 and Select closed $1.46 lower at $268.90. The Choice/Select spread is $11.39. Estimated cattle slaughter was 127,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and up 2,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures were lower ahead of Thursday’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report. April lean hogs closed $.97 lower at $76.77 and May lean hogs closed $1.57 lower at $84.42.
Cash hogs closed lower with a fairly light negotiated run. Hog supplies are ample, and packers haven’t had to get too aggressive in their procurement efforts to meet their needs. Slaughter pace hasn’t pulled back any. Demand overall has been solid, but there are concerns any hiccups in the global economy could disrupt demand and ultimately push prices lower. There are concerns the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report could be less than favorable for the industry. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.13 lower with a base range of $70 to $77.18 and a weighted average of $75.51; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.10 lower with a weighted average of $75.89; the Western Corn Belt closed $.27 lower with a weighted average of $75.72. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $10 higher at $50. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 lower with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $41 to $54. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $46 to $58. Boars ranged from $15 to $25 and $8 to $15.
Pork values closed firm, up $.26 at $80.26. Bellies closed nearly $8 higher. Butts were firm. Picnics, ribs, loins, and hams were lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 477,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and down 2,000 on the year.