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Hog futures pressured by long-term demand concerns

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were lower, waiting for widespread direct cash business.  October live cattle closed $1.32 lower at $180.50 and December lives closed $1.02 lower at $184.60.  September feeders closed $1.80 lower at $250.10 and October feeders closed $1.55 lower at $251.85. 

It appears direct cash cattle business is going to hold out until late in the week.  Bids and asking prices didn’t surface on Wednesday.  So far this week there’s been just a smattering of sales in the North with live deals marked at $185 in Iowa and $294 dressed in Nebraska.  Neither have been enough business to establish an accurate price trend. 

At the Hub City Livestock Auction in South Dakota, the best test was on steers 900 to 949 pounds, which were steady to $1 higher.  Other weight classes of steers and heifers were not well compared.  There was a featured consignment of 1,250 head of attractive black-hided heifers off grass from one family operation.  The heifers, along with a few packages and loads of steers and heifers from other consignors were also off grass and saw very good demand.  The USDA says demand was moderate to good for the remainder of loads and packages in the offering.  Flesh ranged from light to some heavy.  The market was active.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 36% steers and 99% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 855 to 867 pounds brought $258.75 to $262.75 and feeder steers 924 to 940 pounds brought $237 to $243.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 760 to 780 pounds brought $235 to $248.75 and feeder heifers 821 to 849 pounds brought $240. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for moderate offerings.  Choice was $2.82 lower at $303.18 and Select closed $2.13 lower at $277.47.  The Choice/Select spread is $25.71. Estimated cattle slaughter was 123,000 head – down 3,000 on the week and down 2,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed lower on questions about sustained demand.  October lean hogs closed $.77 lower at $84.87 and December lean hogs closed $.37 lower at $76.87. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a solid negotiated run.  Processors were more aggressive again their procurement efforts on Wednesday. Global demand remains relatively strong and that’s helping with price support.  However, there are long-term concerns about demand strength, especially for domestic demand as summer grilling season beings to wind down.   Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.29 higher with a base range of $90 to $107 for a weighted average of $104; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.04 higher with a weighted average of $104.26; the Western Corn Belt closed $.73 higher with a weighted average of $104.21; the Eastern Corn Belt closed $2.80 higher with a weighted average of $103.59.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 higher with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $39 to $51.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $60 to $70.  Boars ranged from $5 to $10 and $15 to $25.

Pork values closed sharply lower – down $3.63 at $111.64.  Bellies, hams, and picnics were all sharply lower.  Butts and ribs were lower.  Loins were higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 468,000 head – up 11,000 on the week and up 3,000 on the year. 

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