Hog futures supported by sharply higher wholesale values
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day mixed, mostly higher on spread adjustments and the sharply higher wholesale values during the session. Feeder cattle were mostly higher on the same factors. April live cattle closed $.85 lower at $94.65 and June live cattle closed $.17 lower at $86.30. April feeder cattle closed $1.27 higher at $119.52 and May feeder cattle closed $.80 higher at $119.27.
It was another week of very light direct cash cattle trade. Live deals are at $105 in both Kansas and Texas, which is about steady with last week’s weighted averages. Dressed deals have been reported in Nebraska at $168, also steady with last week. There was some scattered business reported in Nebraska on Thursday at $155, that’s $13 lower than last week’s weighted averages basis in Nebraska. Asking prices are firm at $107 to $108 live and $165 dressed.
In Missouri last week, feeder steers and heifers sold steady to $5 higher, with some spots of $10 higher compared to the previous week. The supply of feeders was light and demand was moderate. There were a few loads of heavy weight cattle that showed up across various auctions. Receipts were down on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 55 percent steers and 42 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 651 to 699 pounds brought $120 to $149 and feeder steers 800 to 847 pounds brought $105 to $124. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 600 to 648 pounds $105 to $134 and feeder heifers 700 to 748 pounds brought $100 to $126.50.
At the Nebraska hay market, compared to last week, alfalfa, and grass hay were steady. Ground and delivered alfalfa was steady to $10 lower. Alfalfa pellets were steady. There have been several reports of alfalfa getting planted this spring instead of corn. In Eastern/Central Nebraska: Alfalfa fair large squares brought $100. Good to premium large rounds brought $105. Alfalfa baleage: supreme large squares brought $150 delivered. Prairie Hay: Good large rounds brought $80 to $90. Premium small squares brought $170 to $180. Dehy alfalfa pellets 17 percent $320 to $330. Sun-cured pellets 15 percent brought $300. In the Platte Valley area, alfalfa good large rounds brought $90. Ground and delivered alfalfa brought $115 to $135. Dehy alfalfa pellets 17 percent protein brought $270 to $285. Sun-cured alfalfa brought 15 percent protein $285. In Western Nebraska: Alfalfa good large rounds brought $150 delivered. Ground and delivered alfalfa brought $153 to $158.
Boxed beef closed sharply higher on moderate demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $3.12 higher at $238.99 and Select closed $1.22 higher at $227.20. The Choice/Select spread is $11.79.
Estimated cattle slaughter is 87,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and down 27,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 39,000 head – up 8,000 on the week and even on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day higher, contracts were oversold and due for a bounce and were supported by the sharply higher wholesale values during the session. May lean hogs closed $.60 higher at $37.92 and June lean hogs closed $.55 higher at $43.72.
Cash hogs closed mixed with moderate negotiated numbers. Continued reduction in processing capacity as a result of COVID-19 continues to pressure prices. And in many cases the lack of information when those facilities will reopen or increase chain speed is adding even more volatility to the market. Supplies of market-ready hogs are more than ample and while weakening domestic demand does add pressure, the global demand picture is a different story. Global protein supplies are still short. And long as disruptions to the US pork sector aren’t massive, the US remains well-positioned to meet the world’s pork and protein needs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.50 lower with a base range of $30 to $36 for a weighted average of $32.24; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.42 higher for a weighted average of $33.00; the Western Corn Belt closed $.10 higher for a weighted average of $32.63.
The USDA says early-weaned pigs were $2 per head lower and all feeder pigs were $13 per head lower. Demand was light to moderate for moderate to heavy offerings. Receipts included 32 percent formulated prices. Total composite formula rage was $19.94 to $40.50 with an average of $30.02. Total composite cash range was $1 to $11.50 with a weighted average of $5.60. The average for all early-weaned pigs was $13.45 and the average for all feeder pigs was $20.17.
At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with good demand for moderate offerings at $18 to $30. Barrow and gilt prices were $2 lower with light demand for light offerings at $10 to $18. Boars ranged from $2 to $10.
Pork values closed higher – up $4.27 at $60.13. All of the primals were sharply higher, except picnics, which were steady. Estimated hog slaughter is 413,000 head – down 15,000 on the week and down 18,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 214,000 head – up 144,000 on the week and up 128,000 on the year.