Market News

Hog futures lower on demand uncertainty

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day higher on anticipation of higher cash trade.  Feeder cattle ended the day lower, pressured by sharply lower wholesale values.  December live cattle closed $.47 higher at $119.92 and February contracts closed $.42 higher at $124.60.  January feeder cattle closed $.32 lower at $140.55 and March feeders closed $.27 lower at $141.15. 

A light to moderate direct cash cattle trade is underway.  Deals in Kansas and Texas are at $119 live, that’s about $1 higher than last week’s weighted averages.  Business in the North was non-existent and expected to pick up.  Asking prices for cattle left on showlists remain firm at $121 to $122 live in the South and $190 to $193 dressed in the North. 

At the Huss Livestock Market in Nebraska, the USDA says demand was good from the buyers in the crowd.  Receipts of 4,016 head were down compared to the most recent auction and on the year.  Feeder supply included 56 percent steers and 58 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 503 to 545 pounds brought $168 to $169.75 and feeder steers 852 to 895 pounds brought $149.25 to $159.10.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 504 to 542 pounds brought $144 to $155.70 and feeder heifers 705 to 741 pounds brought $135.50 to $145. 

Boxed beef ended the lower on light demand and moderate offerings.  Choice closed $1.35 lower at $225.60 and Select closed $2.19 lower at $208.12.  The Choice/Select spread closed at $17.48.   Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – down 2,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed lower, pressured by long-term supply and demand concerns.  Contracts at a premium to cash. December lean hogs closed $.30 lower at $61.57 and February lean hogs closed $.85 lower at $67.57.

Cash hogs ended the day firm with moderate negotiated purchase.   Cash hog prices have been pushing higher this week, but heavy supplies and demand concerns are limiting their ability to sustain these higher price movements.  Domestic demand remains strong, but the industry is still hoping to see a significant increase in demand for US pork on the global market.  If that is realized it could provide the support the market needs to propel prices higher.  Barrows and gilts at the Iowa/Southern Minnesota closed $.78 higher for a weighted average of $46.43; the Western Corn Belt closed $.79 higher for an average of $46.38; the Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality; the National Daily Direct closed $.78 higher with a base range of $41 to $47.50 for an average of $46.46. 

Butcher hog prices in Dorchester, Wisconsin are $2 higher at $36.  Garnavillo, Iowa is closed today. 

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices are $1 lower at $22 to $33 with moderate demand for very heavy offerings.  Receipts of 1,300 head were up sharply on the year.  Barrow and gilt prices were $1 to $2 higher at $26 to $32 with moderate demand for moderate offerings. 

Pork values closed firm – up $.36 at $81.36.  Loins closed sharply higher.  Bellies, ribs, and picnics ended the day higher.  Butts and hams were lower to sharply lower.  Estimated hog slaughter is 496,000 head – up 22,000 on the year. 

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