Market News

Hog futures up ahead of USDA’s quarterly numbers

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly lower and feeders were lower watching direct business develop.  Feeders had additional pressure from the higher move in corn.  October live cattle closed $.10 higher at $184.90 and December lives closed $.30 lower at $188.17.  October feeder cattle closed $1.62 lower at $252.25 and November feeders closed $2.07 lower at $254.80. 

There was a light to moderate round of direct cash cattle business on Wednesday.  Dressed deals in Nebraska were marked at $290 to $292, steady to $2 below the previous week’s weighted averages.  This follows the light live trade that took place on Tuesday at $183, which was fully steady with the previous week’s business.  Asking prices will likely be restated around $184-plus live in the South and $292-plus dressed in the North.  Look for more business to develop before the end of the week. 

At the Ozarks Regional Stockyards in Missouri, feeder steers and heifers were $5 to $7 lower.  Heifer calves were uneven, from $5 lower to $5 higher.  Long-weaned and vaccinated calves brought a higher dollar.  The UDSA says demand was moderate on a moderate supply.  Receipts were down slightly on the week and up on the year.  Feeder supply included 57% steers and 46% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 652 to 688 pounds brought $259 to $264 and feeder steers 852 to 888 pounds brought $234 to $238.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 559 to 564 pounds brought $246 to $248 and feeder heifers 705 to 733 pounds brought $230.50 to $233.50. 

Boxed beef was mixed on light to moderate demand for solid offerings.  Choice was $1.41 higher at $300.95 and Select was $.59 lower at $278.51.  The Choice/Select spread is $22.44. Estimated cattle slaughter was 126,000 head – even on the week and down 2,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed higher, supported by stronger pork values during the session and short covering ahead of the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report.  October lean hogs closed $.50 higher at $82.12 and December lean hogs closed $.42 higher at $72.77. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a pretty light negotiated run. Supplies of market-ready hogs have been ample.  Processors remain in a position where they don’t have to get too aggressive in their procurement efforts and prices reflect that. Demand for US pork on the global market has been relatively strong, which has been supportive to prices.  But there are concerns that it could wane and that adds pressure to the market.  The industry is looking ahead to today’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report from the USDA. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were $.37 lower with a base range of $73 to $79 and a weighted average of $76.62; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.17 lower with a weighted average of $76.46; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.03 lower with a weighted average of $76.14.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $55. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $28 to $39.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $39 to $49.  Boars ranged from $20 to $25 and $5 to $10. 

Pork values closed lower – down $.52 at $97.76.  Bellies, hams, picnics, and loins were lower.  Butts and ribs were higher.  Estimated hog slaughter was 486,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and even on the year. 

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