Market News

Hog futures pressured by demand uncertainty

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were higher watching direct cash business develop, and feeder cattle were lower pressured by the higher corn.  June live cattle closed $1.17 higher at $133.57.  August feeder cattle closed $1.85 lower at $170. 

There was another light round of direct cash cattle trade that took place on Wednesday.  Live deals were at $140 in the South, generally steady with Tuesday’s business.  There was also some light live trade reported in Nebraska at $144.  Trade volumes are a little light and more business is expected to develop over the balance of the week.  So far this week live deals have been at mostly $140, fully steady with last week’s business and dressed deals around $230, slightly lower than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  Today’s Fed Cattle Exchange had an offering of 1,317 head with just 246 head sold at $137.   

At the Philip Livestock Auction in South Dakota, the USDA says demand was good for a couple of load lots and many packages of feeder steers, feeder heifers, and replacement heifers.  All sold on a moderate to active market.  Much of the offering was home-raised and carried light to moderate flesh.  It’s been several weeks from the most recent sale so an accurate trend was not available.  Feeder supply included 70% heifers and 53% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 458 to 486 pounds brought $213 to $227.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 451 to 491 pounds brought $184 to $207.50 and feeder heifers 785 to 799 pounds brought $154.75. 

Boxed beef closed weak on light demand for heavy offerings.  Choice is $.16 lower at $255.08 and Select is $.17 lower at $242.18.  The Choice/Select spread is $12.90. Estimated cattle slaughter 125,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 6,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed lower on long-term demand uncertainties. June lean hogs closed $.72 lower at $100.85 and July lean hogs closed $1.42 lower at $101.55.    

Cash hogs were closed lower with a strong negotiated run.  Processors continue were able to move their desired numbers without having to remain aggressive in their procurement efforts.  All eyes also remain on the availability of market-ready hogs.  Demand for US pork on the global market, and domestically has been strong, helping provide price support.  There are long-term demand concerns that are adding pressure to prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct are $.81 lower with a base range of $100 to $115 with a weighted average of $108.29; the Iowa/Minnesota is $1.32 lower with a weighted average of $111.52; the Western Corn Belt is $.07 lower with a weighted average of $112.61.  The Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $102.54.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $70. 

Pork values closed $.70 lower at $99.49.  Hams, loins, bellies, and picnics were all lower.  Ribs and butts were higher. Estimated hog slaughter 482,000 head – even on the week and up 10,000 on the year. 

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