Market News

Lower cash trade pressures hog futures

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day mixed, mostly higher on spread adjustments.  Feeder cattle ended the day higher following another strong week of cash business and the day’s weaker move in corn.  June live cattle closed $1.42 lower at $98.30 and August live cattle closed $.62 lower at $98.97.  August feeder cattle closed $.77 higher at $136.12 September feeder cattle closed $1.45 higher at $137.20. 

Direct cash cattle trade is fairly quiet.  Showlists this week appear to be higher across all major feeding areas, especially in Texas.  There have been a handful of deals reported in Nebraska at $187, but not near enough to establish a trend.  If this week follows suit to recent weeks, there will be a light to moderate trade develop just about every day. 

At the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to two weeks ago feeder steers and heifers were mostly $1 to $3 higher.  Steer and heifer calves were too lightly tested in the early rounds for an accurate trend.  Receipts are up on the year and feeder supply included 63 percent steers and 70 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 602 to 645 pounds brought $138.50 to $153 and feeder steers 808 to 825 pounds brought $126 to $132.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 613 to 629 pounds brought $123 to $128.50 and feeder heifers 762 to 798 pounds brought $112 to $122. 

Boxed beef ended the day sharply lower on light demand for moderate to heavy offerings.  Choice closed $22.19 lower at $341.15 and Select closed $23.24 lower at $316.83.  The Choice/Select spread is $24.32. 

Estimated cattle slaughter is 110,000 head – down 12,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day lower pressured by the day’s weaker cash trade and sharply lower wholesale values.  June lean hogs closed $2.25 lower at $54.60 and July lean hogs closed $1.87 lower at $55.15. 

Cash hogs closed lower with moderate negotiated numbers.  Daily slaughter totals continue to increase, but the industry, at best could say it is breaking even and is still running into challenges getting into that backlog of hogs in the supply chain.  Packers are working to balance the available market-ready hogs with shackle space and the available labor force.  Demand concerns are also adding pressure to prices.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.95 lower with a base range of $29 to $38 for a weighted average of $33.97 and the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $34.74.  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 $20.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were weak with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $7 to $20.  Barrow and gilt prices were weak with light demand for heavy offerings at $16 to $20.  Boars ranged from $1 to $5. 

Pork values closed sharply lower, down $7.16 at $81.04.  Loins dropped more than $25 and picnics were also sharply lower.  Ribs, hams, and butts were lower.  Bellies closed higher.  Estimated hog slaughter is 403,000 head – down 62,000 on the year.  Friday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 419,000 head and Saturday’s hog has been revised to 280,000 head. 

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