Market News

Hog futures supported by higher pork values

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day mostly higher and feeders were higher watching corn and waiting for direct cash business to develop.  August live cattle closed $1.12 higher at $123.25 and October live cattle closed $.87 higher at $128.15.  August feeder cattle closed $.65 higher at $158.90 and September feeder cattle closed $.55 higher at $162.52. 

It was a quiet Tuesday for direct cash cattle trade activity. There were some early asking prices that surfaced around $122 plus live in the South and $199 plus dressed in the North.  Bids were scarce.  It’s likely significant trade volume will be delayed until Wednesday or later.  The Texas Cash Pool reported there were 255 head sold at $120. 

At the Callaway Livestock Center in Missouri, compared to last week steer calves 400 to 500 pounds and 600 to 700 pounds were steady to firm, and steer calves 550 to 600 pounds were firm to $2 higher.  Steers over 700 pounds sold with a firm to higher undertone.  Feeder heifers 400 to 550 pounds were steady to $4 higher.  The USDA says there was a good quality offering of 550-to-600-pound steers and four pot-loads of yearling steers over 700 pounds all sold with good demand.  Receipts were up on the week and down on the year.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 563 to 594 pounds brought $175 to $188 and feeder steers 700 to 724 pounds brought $160 to $164.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 505 to 546 pounds brought $159 to $161.50 and feeder heifers 555 to 579 pounds brought $155.50 to $161.50. 

Boxed beef closed sharply higher on good demand for moderate offerings.  Choice is $4.84 higher at $285.84 and Select is $4.11 higher at $267.49.  The Choice/Select spread is $19.05. Estimated cattle slaughter 122,000 head – up 3,000 on the week and up 6,000 on the year.  Monday’s cattle slaughter has been revised to 116,000 head. 

Lean hog futures ended the day higher, supported by sharply higher pork values during the session, long-term demand expectations, and the discount to cash.  August lean hogs closed $1.57 higher at $109.07 and October lean hogs closed $1.87 higher at $91.37. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a moderate negotiated run. The industry is monitoring the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts.  Processors had been aggressive in their procurement efforts but seem to have taken a step back recently.  Overall demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been strong, which has been largely supportive to prices and that is expected to continue.  However, should a major disruption occur, prices would likely tumble. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.60 lower with a base range of $98 to $104 and a weighted average of $100.40.  The Eastern Corn Belt had a weighted average of $99.90.  Prices at the Iowa/Minnesota and the Western Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $70. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with good demand for heavy offerings at $64 to $84.  Barrow and gilt prices were steady with moderate to good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $64 to $74.  Boars ranged from $45 to $50 and $10 to $12. 

Pork values closed lower – down $1.04 at $127.67.  Hams dropped nearly $19 on Tuesday.  However, ribs, butts, picnics, loins, and bellies were all sharply higher.   Estimated hog slaughter 475,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and up 10,000 on the year.  Monday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 408,000 head. 

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