Hog futures supported by cash and wholesale business
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were higher supported by this week’s direct cash business, feeders were mostly lower on the higher corn. April live cattle closed $.02 higher at $146.92 and March feeder cattle closed $1.27 lower at $167.45.
There was a light to moderate round of direct cash cattle trade that took place on Wednesday. Live deals in all areas were at $142 to $143, about $2 to $3 higher than last week’s weighted averages. Dressed business in the North was at $226, also $2 higher than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. The majority of those are marked for delivery the week of February 28. Asking prices are at $143 plus live in the South and $227 to $228 dressed in the North. Look for more business to develop over the balance of the week. A big day for today’s Fed Cattle Exchange, with an offering of 2,096 head with 1,496 head sold from $141.25 to $142.25. There were 380 head listed as unsold as they did not meet the reserve prices that ranged from $142 to $145.
At the Ozarks Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to last week steer and heifer calves under 700 pounds were $10 to $15 higher with spots of $20 higher. Heavier weight steers and heifers were steady to firm. The USDA says demand was very good on a moderate to heavy supply. Receipts were up on the week. Feeder supply included 53% steers and 40% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 551 to 592 pounds brought $191 to $201 and feeder steers 650 to 685 pounds brought $163 to $172. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 502 to 535 pounds brought $163 to $184 and feeder heifers 604 to 640 pounds brought $151 to $160.
Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for light offerings. Choice closed $.75 lower at $269.62 and Select closed $1.74 lower at $266.08. The Choice/Select spread is $3.54. Estimated cattle slaughter is 122,000 head – even on the week and up 22,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures closed higher, supported by the sharply higher cash prices and higher pork values during the session. April lean hogs closed $1.25 higher at $105.40.
Cash hogs closed higher with another big negotiated run. Processors were aggressive in their procurement efforts and bid up to move their desired numbers. Demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong and that provides price support. Hog weights declined a half pound this week to 288.6 pounds. While it is down on the week it is up 1.4 pounds on the year. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.06 higher with a base range of $80 to $99 and a weighted average of $91.47; the Iowa/Minnesota had no comparison but a weighted average of $97.61; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.18 higher with a weighted average of $97.11. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady in Wisconsin and Iowa at $60 and higher in Red Oak, Iowa at $65. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $3 higher with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $55 to $66. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $54 to $60. Boars ranged from $27 to $32 and $13 to $17.
Pork values closed weak – down $.20 at $106.52. Loins were sharply lower and hams were lower. Picnics, ribs, butts, and bellies were higher to sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 478,000 head – up 6,000 on the week and up 5,000 on the year.