Market News

Hog futures mostly lower to start the week

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed mostly lower and feeder cattle closed mostly higher waiting for the week’s cash business to develop.  Feeders found additional support in the day’s mostly lower move in corn.  April live cattle closed $.70 lower at $122.72 and June live cattle closed $.47 lower at $122.10.  April feeder cattle closed $.25 lower at $144.50 and May feeder cattle closed $.07 higher at $149.70. 

Direct cash cattle trade activity was quiet to start the week.  Showlists are mixed, somewhat higher in Kansas, higher in Texas, but somewhat lower in Nebraska.  Bids and asking prices have yet to be established.  It’s likely significant trade volume will be delayed until midweek or later. 

At midsession at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week feeder steers were steady to $1 higher and feeder heifers were steady to $2 higher.  The USDA says demand was good for feeder cattle.  Steer calves were $1 to $2 lower and heifer calves were unevenly steady.  Demand for calves was moderate.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 63 percent steers and 70 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 601 to 646 pounds brought $152.50 to $170 and feeder steers 962 to 997 pounds brought $124 to $134.85.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 604 to 647 pounds brought $137 to $148.50 and feeder heifers 701 to 747 pounds brought $131 to $141.

Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $.76 lower at $271.41 and Select closed $2.09 higher at $266.16.  The Choice/Select spread is $5.56. 

Estimated cattle slaughter is 112,000 head – up 7,000 on the week and up 24,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mostly lower on profit-taking with additional pressure from the day’s lower move in pork.  April lean hogs closed $.05 higher at $103.52 and May lean hogs closed $1.97 lower at $104.40.

Cash hogs closed higher with a moderate negotiated run.  Processors have been aggressive in their procurement efforts and all eyes are on the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  Strong demand on both the global market and domestically has been very supportive to prices and that is expected to continue, especially as African swine fever continues to create supply problems in some parts of the world.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.33 higher with a base range of $97to $103 and a weighted average of $100.54; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.57 higher with a weighted average of $102.19; the Western Corn Belt closed $.43 higher with a weighted average of $101.85.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

The Midwest cash markets had no comparison but were at $66, which is well above last week’s prices.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady to $2 lower with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $68 to $78.  Barrow and gilt prices were steady with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $65 to $70.  Boars ranged from $30 to $40 and $12 to $20. 

Pork values closed sharply lower – down $3.07 at $110.10.  Bellies, butts, and loins were all sharply lower.  Picnics were about steady and ribs and hams were sharply higher. 

Estimated hog slaughter is 494,000 head – up 169,000 on the week and up 188,000 on the year.  Friday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 468,000 head and Saturday’s revised to 184,000 head. 

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