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Hog futures lower ahead of USDA report

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were lower waiting for direct business to develop and the higher move in corn.  August live cattle closed $.75 lower at $132.72 and October lives closed $.72 lower at $139.40.  August feeder cattle closed $2.30 lower at $171.82 and September feeder cattle closed $1.85 lower at $174.95. 

It was a quiet Wednesday for direct cash cattle trade activity.  Bids have been slow to surface.  Asking prices were at $140 live in the South, while the North was quiet.  Significant trade volume will be delayed until midweek or later. 

At the Callaway Livestock Center in Missouri, compared to two weeks ago steers 400 to 700 pounds were $8 to $12 higher and spots of $15 higher.  Steers 700 to 800 pounds were $5 to $10 higher.  Feeder heifers 400 to 600 pounds were $10 to $15 higher and heifers over 600 pounds were met with a sharply higher undertone on a few good comparisons.  The USDA says demand was good on a heavy offering of feeders and the market was very active.   Feeder supply included 55% steers and 34% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 501 to 546 pounds brought $204 to $215 and feeder steers 551 to 589 pounds brought $199 to $215.25.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 450 to 493 pounds brought $182 to $193 and feeder heifers 559 to 595 pounds brought $173.50 to $183. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $1.54 lower at $267.14 and Select closed $1.93 lower at $243.31.  The Choice/Select spread is $23.83. Estimated cattle slaughter 126,000 head – even on the week and up 5,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day lower on position squaring ahead of the USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report and demand concerns.  July lean hogs closed $.25 lower at $109.92 and August lean hogs closed $1.05 lower at $103.82. 

Cash hogs closed sharply higher with a solid negotiated run. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs.  Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong, helping provide support to prices.  Processors were aggressive in their procurement efforts and bid up to move their desired numbers. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $4.65 higher with a base range of $111.50 to $125 and a weighted average of $119.78; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $4.47 higher with a weighted average of $122.60; the Western Corn Belt closed $3.78 higher with a weighted average of $122.71.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $115.94.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $77. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with good demand for heavy offerings at $40 to $52.  Barrows and gilts were $2 higher with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $73 to $82.  Boars ranged from $45 to $50 and $10 to $15. 

Pork values closed sharply lower – down $3.56 at $105.47.  Bellies dropped nearly $20.  Picnics, loins, and butts were lower to sharply lower.  Hams and ribs were higher.    Estimated hog slaughter is 450,000 head – down 18,000 on the week and down 13,000 on the year.  Monday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 458,000 head. 

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