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Hog futures mostly higher to start the week

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mixed, and feeders were mostly lower ahead of the week’s direct cash business.  Feeders had additional pressure from the mostly higher move in corn.  October lives closed $.10 lower at $186.97 and December lives closed $.12 lower at $191.22.  October feeders closed $.32 lower at $258.82 and November feeder cattle closed $.82 lower at $262.70. 

It was a typically quiet Monday for direct cash cattle trade activity.  Showlists this week are mixed – higher in Nebraska/Colorado, somewhat higher in Texas, and lower in Kansas.  Bids and asking prices didn’t surface on Monday. If business follows the trend of recent weeks, significant trade volume is going to hold out until sometime Thursday and/or Friday. 

At mid-session at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, feeder steers were $1 to $3 lower.  Feeder heifers were $2 to $4 lower.  The UDSA says feeder cattle were lightly tested.  Quality was plain to average.  Demand was moderate to good for feeders.  Steer calves were $4 to $8 lower and heifer calves were $10 to $15 lower.  Unweaned calves were up to $20 lower.  Demand is moderate for calves.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 46% steers and 49% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 554 to 598 pounds brought $270 to $288 and feeder steers 650 to 683 pounds brought $256 to $281.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 558 to 594 pounds brought $230 to $258 and feeder heifers 601 to 648 pounds brought $233 to $260. 

Boxed beef closed mixed on fairly light demand for moderate offerings. Choice was $1.85 lower at $301.48 and Select closed $.02 higher at $280.45. The Choice/Select spread is $21.03. Estimated cattle slaughter was 127,000 head – up 6,000 on the week and up 4,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures were mostly higher, supported by higher pork values. October lean hogs were unchanged at $81.52 and December lean hogs closed $.35 higher at $72.52.   

Cash hogs closed lower with a fairly light negotiated run.  Processors currently have leverage and are able to move needed numbers without having to get aggressive in their procurement efforts and bid up.  Especially with the ample supplies of market-ready hogs.  While demand has been strong on the global market, there are concerns domestic demand could slow as summer grilling season has come to an end.  The industry’s also looking ahead to this week’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were $.05 lower with a base range of $73 to $80 and weighted average of $77.54; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.88 lower with a weighted average of $77.85; the Western Corn Belt closed $.32 lower with a weighted average of $77.82. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets were $3 lower at $55. At Illinois, slaughter sows were $3 lower at $28 to $39.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $39 to $49.  Boars ranged from $20 to $25 and $5 to $10. 

Pork values closed higher – up $1.60 at $98.86. Bellies were sharply higher. Ribs were also higher.  Loins, hams, picnics, and butts were weak to lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 469,000 head – down 16,000 on the week and down 15,000 on the year. 

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