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Hog futures mostly higher on oversold signals

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed mixed and feeders were mostly lower ahead of the release of the Cattle on Feed numbers.  October live cattle closed $.02 higher at $103.35 and December live cattle closed $.10 higher at $103.57.  October $.30 lower at $133.52 and November feeder cattle closed $.77 lower at $129.65. 

It was a quiet end to the week, with just a little cleanup trade in Nebraska at $163.  Trade for the week came in incrementally, with light to moderate business every day.  Southern live deals ranged from $105 to $106, $2 to $3 lower than last week’s weighted averages.  Northern dressed business was mostly at $165 to $166, which is $2.50 to $3.50 below last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. 

In Missouri, compared to the previous week steers sold $5 to $10 lower and heifers sold $3 to $7 lower.  The USDA says supply was moderate with a good even span of lightweight all the way to heavyweight cattle in the offering.  Demand was moderate for weaned and worked cattle and light for unweaned bawling calves. Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 56 percent steers and 51 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 500 to 540 pounds brought $126 to $169 and feeder steers 650 to 697 pounds brought $120 to $151.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 500 to 548 pounds brought $110.50 to $153 and feeder heifers 650 to 698 pounds brought $117 to $142.75.   

In Nebraska this past week, compared to the prior week alfalfa hay was fully steady to $5 higher.  Grass hay was fully steady, dehy and sun-cured alfalfa pellets were steady.  Ground and delivered hay sold steady except in the panhandle where it was $20 higher.  Significantly cooler weather and snow in the last week pushed the market higher.  There are a few reports of a fourth cutting of hay still on the ground, which is expected to dry out next week.  In Central Nebraska, Alfalfa, premium/supreme large squares brought $175 to $200.  Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $95 and large squares brought $115.  Ground alfalfa brought $125/ton.  In the Platte Valley area, Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $95 to $105.  Alfalfa, 15% sun-cured pellets brought $245/ton.  Ground alfalfa brought $130/ton.  Dehy pellets 17% protein brought $280 to 285.  Alfalfa/Grass mix, good large rounds brought $70.  In the West, Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $150 to $160.  Ground alfalfa brought $173/ton. 

Boxed beef is mixed on moderate to good demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $1.37 lower at $207.49 and Select is $.32 higher at $191.40. 

Estimated cattle slaughter is 103,000 head – down 13,000 on the week and down 6,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 60,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and up 1,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed mostly higher on spread trade and oversold signals.  December lean hogs closed $.82 higher at $67.02 and February lean hogs closed $.07 higher at $66.92. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a moderate negotiated run.  The industry has been stuck in a pattern where it is watching the supply and demand situation.  The availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample and processors continue to push daily slaughter totals higher in an effort to work through the backlog of hogs in the production system that still lingers from the COVID-related slowdowns and shutdowns.  While that keeps supply chains moving, and alleviates some pressure, it also adds more pork to an already saturated market.  However, the industry remains hopeful demand for US pork will continue to see surges both domestically and globally.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.27 lower with a base range of $55 to $65 for a weighted average of $59.55; the Iowa/Southern Minnesota was $2.10 lower with a weighted average of $61.06; the Western Corn Belt was $2.03 lower with a weighted average of $61.04.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality. 

According to this week’s feeder pig report from the USDA, early-weaned pigs and all feeder pigs were steady.  Demand was moderate for moderate offerings and receipt included 56 percent formulated prices.  The total composite cash range for early-weaned pigs was $29 to $42 for an average of $35.98 and the total composite formula range was $31.86 to $44.94 for an average of $38.94.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $37.75 and the average for all feeder pigs was $45.05. 

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with good demand for light to moderate offerings at $22 to $36.  Barrow and gilt prices were weak with moderate to good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $37 to $43.  Boars ranged from $5 to $7. 

Pork values closed sharply lower – down $5.59 at $93.23.  Bellies and hams were both sharply lower.  Ribs were lower.  Loins, picnics, and butts were firm to higher.  Estimated hog slaughter is 486,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 6,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 244,000 head – down 20,000 on the week and down 9,000 on the year. 

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