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Hog futures pressured by sluggish export sales report

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were supported by the week’s stronger direct cash business and the lower corn. June live cattle closed $1.27 higher at $139.90 and August live cattle closed $1.42 higher at $141.57.  May feeder cattle closed $2.37 higher at $164.85 and August feeder cattle closed $2.97 higher at $176.45. 

It was a relatively quiet Thursday for direct cash cattle trade activity following the active days earlier in the week.  It’s likely the bulk of the week’s business has wrapped up, but some cleanup trade could trickle in before the end of the day Friday. So far this week, deals have been marked at $139 to $141, mostly $140 live, $1 higher than last week’s weighted averages.  Northern dressed business has been at $228 to $236, mostly $230, $4 higher than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.

At the Sheridan Livestock Auction in Nebraska, prices trended lower from the most recent sale.  The USDA says there was a quality run of feeder heifers and steers.  Demand was moderate to good.  Receipts were down from the most recent sale.  Feeder supply included 69% heifers and 82% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 668 to 678 pounds brought $160 to $176 and feeder steers 1051 pounds brought $150.75.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 679 to 698 pounds brought $151 to $154.50 and feeder heifers 707 to 748 pounds brought $144.50 to $158. 

Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for light offerings.  Choice closed $1.35 higher at $270.17 and Select is $.85 lower at $255.68.  The Choice/Select spread is $14.49. Estimated cattle slaughter 122,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 3,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed lower, pressured by long-term demand concerns and the sluggish weekly exports sales numbers.  May lean hogs closed $1.62 lower at $110.85 and June lean hogs closed $1.57 lower at $117.17. 

Cash hogs closed sharply higher with a big negotiated run.  Processors were aggressive in their procurement efforts and bid up to move their desired numbers.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs.  Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong, but there are long-term concerns that to create some uncertainty around prices. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $4.06 higher with a base range of $94 to $111.50 with a weighted average of $106.04; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.44 higher with a weighted average of $109.17; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.31 higher with a weighted average of $109.18.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets were $4 lower at $76. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $3 to $5 lower with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $72 to $85.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand moderate offerings at $60 to $69.  Boars ranged from $42 to $47 and $20 to $25. 

Pork values closed $1.71 higher at $110.20.  Bellies were sharply higher.  Hams and butts were higher.  Ribs, loins, and picnics were lower to sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 482,000 head – up 4,000 on the week and down 1,000 on the year. 

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