Market News

Hog futures lower on long-term demand concerns

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle futures closed higher ahead of the week’s direct business.  October live cattle closed $1 higher at $105.85 and December live cattle closed $.62 higher at $104.67.  October feeder cattle closed $.87 higher at $135.17 and November feeder cattle closed $1.60 higher at $133.90. 

A little scattered trade was reported on Wednesday.  Deals in Nebraska were at $158 to $160 dressed, but that’s not near enough to establish a trend.  Asking prices were around $108 live in the South and $168 dressed in the North.  The delayed Fed Cattle Exchange had an offering of 2,012 head and 1,257 head sold.  There were 766 head sold for 1 to 9-day delivery at $106.04 and 630 head sold for a weighted average price of $105.80, those were marked for 1 to 17-day delivery. 

At the Kingsville Livestock Auction in Missouri, compared to last week, steers were mostly steady and heifers were unevenly steady with the calves selling with a lower undertone and yearlings trading with a steady to firm undertone.  The USDA says demand was moderate to good for yearlings, moderate for the higher quality calves and light in spots for the plainer or fleshy calves.  Supply was light.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 44 percent steers and 61 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 610 to 649 pounds brought $142 to $146.50 and feeder steers 692 to 693 pounds brought $139.50 to $149.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 699 pounds brought $145 and feeder heifers 708 to 723 pounds brought $130.75 to $142. 

Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $.91 lower at $205.79 and Select is $.91 higher at $189.58.  The Choice/Select spread is $16.21.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 118,000 head – up 3,000 on the week and even on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed lower on profit taking, the lower cash trade during the session and long-term demand concerns.  December lean hogs closed $1.27 lower at $66.37 and February lean hogs closed $1.85 lower at $66.20. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a moderate negotiated run.  The industry is concerned over the supply and demand picture.  Daily slaughter totals continue to push higher.  While that helps keep the supply chain moving and alleviate some pressure on the production system, it also adds more pork to a market that is saturated.  Supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts remain more than ample.  The industry is still optimistic demand for US pork will see a boost on the global market, which could provide some price support. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.80 lower with a base range of $58 to $64 with a weighted average of $61.76 and the Western Corn Belt closed $.85 lower with a weighted average of $62.28.  Prices at the Iowa/Southern Minnesota and the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady to $38.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were firm with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $24 to $38.  Barrow and gilt prices were firm with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $37 to $43.  Boars ranged from $5 to $7. 

Pork values closed sharply lower – down $5.10 at $83.73.  Bellies dropped more than $27.  Ribs and butts were also sharply lower.  Loins were weak.  Picnics closed firm and hams were higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 492,000 head – even on the week and up 16,000 on the year. 

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