Market News

Hog futures pressured by demand uncertainty

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle futures closed higher on fund and technical buying.  August lean hogs closed $1.02 higher at $97.30 and October lean hogs closed $.95 higher at $100.67.  August feeder cattle closed $.22 higher at $133.07 and September feeder cattle closed $.65 higher at $134.02. 

A light to moderate direct cash cattle trade took place across most of cattle country on Wednesday.  Southern live deals were marked at $95, roughly $1 lower than last week’s weighted averages.  Northern dressed business was at $153 to $155, generally steady with the week’s earlier business.  Asking prices remain firm at $98 plus Live in the South and $158 dressed in the North. 

At the Huss Livestock Market in Nebraska, compared to two weeks ago, yearling steers sold $3 to $4 higher and yearling heifers sold $2 higher.  There weren’t enough lighter calves on offer for a market comparison.  The USDA says demand was good from start to finish on the light summer run.  Some of the yearlings came off summer grass and some out of backgrounding lots.  Receipts were down on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 57 percent steers and 88 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 811 to 847 pounds brought $130.70 to $139.25 and Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 908 to 930 pounds brought $125.50 to $133.35.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 706 to 744 pounds brought $124.10 to $127.25 and feeder heifers 807 to 840 pounds brought $121.85 to $127.75. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for moderate to heavy offerings.  Choice is $1.59 lower at $205.38 and Select closed $1.47 lower at $198.43.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 121,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and down 1,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mostly lower, pressured by ongoing demand concerns.  July lean hogs closed $.37 lower at $44.80 and August lean hogs closed $.05 higher at $49.07. 

Cash hogs closed steady with solid negotiated purchases.  Packers have been moving larger numbers with the holiday-shortened week.  Demand strength is uncertain right now as COVID-19 cases have been on the rise and the economy isn’t recovering as quickly as had the industry had hoped.  Supplies of market-ready hogs are heavy.  And while processors continue to ramp up daily slaughter capacity, the industry is still struggling to work through the backlog of hogs.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.20 higher with a base range of $24 to $30.50 for a weighted average of $28.66; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.19 lower for a weighted average of $28.41; the Western Corn Belt closed $.14 lower for a weighted average of $28.41.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality. 

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $9 to $20.  Barrow and gilt prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $12 to $20.  Boars ranged from $2 to $5. 

Pork values closed firm – up $.50 at $63.62.  Hams and bellies both closed sharply higher.  The rest of the primals were lower to sharply lower.  Estimated hog slaughter is 469,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and down 9,000 on the year. 

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