Market News

Hog futures pressured by demand concerns

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed higher watching direct cash business develop while feeder cattle were pressured by the day’s higher move in corn.  June live cattle closed $.82 higher at $136.25 and August live cattle closed $.95 higher at $138.27.  May feeder cattle closed $.57 lower at $160.72 and August feeder cattle closed $1.35 lower at $173.15. 

There was another round of direct cash cattle trade that took place on Tuesday.  Live deals were at $140, fully steady with last week’s business.  Dressed deals were marked at $232 in the North, $2 higher than last week’s weighted average in Nebraska and also at $145 to $146 live, steady to $1 higher.  Packers are short-bought, and this week’s business reflects that.

At the Russell Livestock Auction in Iowa, compared to two weeks ago steer calves were mixed, $3 lower to $3 higher.  Lightweight heifers calves were $6 to $10 lower, and heifers 600 to 900 pounds were $3 to $6 higher. The USDA says trade was active and demand was moderate for the large offering.  Receipts were down on the week, but up on the year.  Feeder supply includes 47% steers and 51% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 600 to 645 pounds brought $170 to $192 and feeder steers 757 to 795 pounds brought $155 to $165.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 603 to 638 pounds brought $158 to $172.75 and feeder heifers 750 to 778 pounds brought $138 to $149.50. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed $2.43 lower at $264.17 and Select closed $.29 lower at $256.23.  The Choice/Select spread is $7.94. Estimated cattle slaughter 125,000 – up 1,000 on the week and up 4,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures were lower on concerns about long-term demand expectations.  May lean hogs closed $2.60 lower at $105.20 and June lean hogs closed $2.85 lower at $111.17. 

Cash hog closed higher with a solid negotiated run.  Processors bid up to move their desired numbers on Tuesday and were more aggressive in their procurement efforts.    Supplies of market-ready hogs continued to be monitored.  Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong, which has helped keep prices supported.  However, there are some long-term concerns which are adding pressure to prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $3.26 higher with a base range of $95 to $112 and a weighted average of $103.09; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.66 higher with a weighted average of $108.80; the Western Corn Belt closed $.85 higher with a weighted average of $108.99.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $2 lower at $68. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with light demand for light to moderate offerings at $72 to $85.  Barrows and gilts were steady with light demand for light to moderate offerings at $60 to $69.  Boars ranged from $38 to $42 and $20 to $25. 

Pork values closed weak – down $.24 at $105.55. Bellies, loins, and butts were all lower.  Picnics, ribs, and hams were firm to higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 480,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and down 5,000 on the year. 

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