Hog futures pressured by demand concerns
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were lower, and feeders were mixed watching direct business. October live cattle closed $.82 lower at $143.77 and September feeder cattle closed $.57 higher at $183.02.
There was another round of light to moderate trade on Wednesday following Tuesday’s business. Deals in the North were at $232 to $233 dressed, $1 lower than last week’s weighted averages basis in Nebraska. Live deals earlier in the week were marked at $142 in the South, generally steady with last week’s business. Look for some additional business to take place over the balance of the week.
At the Hub City Livestock Auction in South Dakota, compared to last week, the best test was on steers 900 to 950 pounds, and heifers 900 to 950 pounds, which were mostly steady with other weight classes of steers and heifers not well compared. The USDA says demand was good to very good for the day’s offering which consisted mostly of loads and packages. Quality was similar to last week and ranged from average to attractive. The market was active, especially on light-fleshed grass cattle. Receipts were down on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 43% steers and 99% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 904 to 941 pounds brought $175 to $188 and feeder steers 972 pounds brought $184.90. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 656 to 695 pounds brought $193.50 to $202.50 and feeder heifers 734 to 741 pounds brought $191.50 to $192.
Boxed beef closed mixed with light to moderate demand on moderate offerings. Choice closed $.03 higher at $262.83 and Select closed $1.18 lower at $237.62. The Choice/Select spread is $25.21. Estimated cattle slaughter 124,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and up 10,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures closed lower, pressured by long-term demand concerns. October lean hogs closed $2.52 lower at $90.37 and December lean hogs closed $2.05 lower at $82.17.
Cash hogs closed lower with a huge negotiated run. Processors started the day more aggressive in their procurement efforts in some areas and moved big numbers to start the day, but backed off in the afternoon. Demand for US pork has been strong on the global market and domestically, but long-term concerns do creep into the market. The industry also continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.62 lower with a base range of $106 to $133 with a weighted average of $125.50; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.44 lower with a weighted average of $130.19; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.44 lower with a weighted average of $129.17; the Eastern Corn Belt closed $2.74 lower with a weighted average of $120.64.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $70. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $67 to $79. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $77 to $86. Boars ranged from $45 to $55 and $10 to $20.
Pork values closed lower – down $2.09 at $102.99. Bellies continued their slide, down $6.15. Butts were also sharply lower. Ribs, picnics, and hams were lower. Loins closed higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 480,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and up 7,000 on the year.