Market News

Hog futures pressured again

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly higher and feeders were mostly lower watching corn and direct cash business develop.  October live cattle closed $.40 higher at $127.22 and December live cattle closed $.12 higher at $131.57.  October feeder cattle closed $.52 higher at $156.50 and November feeders were $1.30 lower at $158.47. 

There was a moderate direct cash cattle trade took place on Wednesday.  Dressed deals in the North were at $200, $4 higher than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  Live deals were at $126 and $127, $1 to $2 higher than last week’s weighted averages.  There was a light trade that took place in Texas on Tuesday at $124 to $125 live, which is steady to $1 higher than last weeks’ weighted averages.  There were also a few scattered deals reported in other cattle feeding areas.  Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange had an offering of 2,692 head, of which 394 sold at $125.50 to $125.75. 

At the Ozarks Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to last week steer calves were $4 to $8 higher while heifer calves were $2 to $4 higher.  The USDA says demand was good and improved through the day on a moderate supply.  The market was active, and the quality of offerings were average to good.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 50% steers and 41% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 553 to 599 pounds brought $159 to $173 and feeder steers 606 to 644 pounds brought $158 to $171.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 503 to 546 pounds brought $141 to $151 and feeder heifers 551 to 578 pounds brought $140 to $152. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for solid offerings.  Choice closed $1.13 lower at $283.63 and Select closed $.85 lower at $261.69.  The Choice/Select spread is $21.94.   Estimated cattle slaughter is 122,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and up 5,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day lower on follow-through selling and long-term demand concerns.  December lean hogs closed $.60 lower at $71.97 and February lean hogs closed $.82 lower at $74.32. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a solid negotiated run.  Processors continue to move their desired numbers at lower prices and the industry is keeping an eye on the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong, which is expected to continue.  But, some long-term demand concerns are creeping in and prices have reflected that. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.62 lower with a base range of $62 to $65 and a weighted average of $63.19; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $63.61; the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $63.57; the Eastern Corn Belt had a weighted average of $62.82.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $2 higher at $62. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices are were steady with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $50 to $60.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $39 to $46.  Boars ranged from $20 to $30 and $10 to $18. 

Pork values closed lower – down $.85 at $93.47.  Bellies dropped more than $18.  Ribs, picnics, and loins were lower to sharply lower.  Hams and butts were both sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 480,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and down 8,000 on the year. 

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