Market News

Hog futures supported by strong wholesale values

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day mixed in a narrow range on spread trade.  There is some support from stronger wholesale values.  Feeder cattle were mixed in a narrow range on the same factors.   December live cattle closed $.12 lower at $119.75 and February lives closed $.10 lower at $125.57.  November feeder cattle closed $.22 higher at $147.80 and January feeder cattle were unchanged at $147.12. 

Direct cash cattle trade remains at a standstill.  There are just a few scattered bids on the table at $181 dressed in parts of Nebraska.  Early asking prices are around $118 plus in the South and $185 to $188 dressed in the North.  It’s likely significant trade volume will be delayed until the latter half of the week.  Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange has an offering of 1,393 head. 

At the Tri-State Livestock Auction in Nebraska, receipts are up on the week and the year.  Compared to last week’s sale, steers were $4 higher, except 500 to 600-pound steers were $4 lower.  Heifers were $8 to $16 higher.  The USDA says demand was good to moderate.  Feeder supply included 70 percent steers and 48 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 461 to 495 pounds brought $165 to $180.50 and feeder steers 858 to 896 pounds brought $148.25 to $150.25.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 453 to 471 pounds brought $144.50 to $162 and feeder heifers 500 to 545 pounds brought $133 to $151. 

Boxed beef closed higher to sharply higher on moderate to good demand and light to moderate offerings.  Choice closed $1.91 higher at $240.50 and Select closed $2.54 higher at $216.23.  The Choice/Select spread closed at $24.27.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 119,000 head, even on the week and down 1,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day higher on stronger wholesale values and optimism about the continued talk about progress on the trade deal with China.  December lean hogs closed $1.42 higher at $64.72 and February contracts closed $1.82 higher at $75.55. 

Cash hogs closed steady with strong negotiated purchase totals.  The market is using the potential demand increases for US pork on the global market to keep prices at least steady.  While the industry remains optimistic that it will start to see significantly more pork moving onto the global market, the heavy supplies are proving too much to allow prices to shift higher.  There are ample supplies of ready barrows and gilts and slaughter runs are hitting new records almost daily.  Until there are tangible signs more US pork is being purchased on the global market, the cash hog market will likely remain in its current pattern. Barrows and gilts at the Iowa/Southern Minnesota closed $.03 lower for a weighted average of $42.55; the Western Corn Belt closed  $.05 lower for a weighted average of $42.54; the Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality; and the National Daily Direct closed $.10 higher with a base range of $40 to $44 for a weighted average of $42.69. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady to $2 lower at $34 to $36.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 to $2 lower at $26 to $41 with moderate to good demand for heavy offerings.  Barrow and gilt prices were $1 to $2 lower at $25 to $30 with moderate demand for moderate offerings. 

Pork values closed higher – up $2.19 at $88.53.  Hams and bellies were sharply higher.  Loins, butts, and picnics were firm to higher.  Ribs closed lower.  Estimated hog slaughter is 492,000 head, up 1,000 on the week and up 8,000 on the year. 

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