Lean hogs mostly lower on profit-taking
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day mixed on spread adjustments. The market continues to struggle as it faces processing challenges across the industry. Feeder cattle were mixed, mostly higher on spread trade. April live cattle closed $.07 higher at $85.60 and June live cattle closed $.42 lower at $84.27. April feeder cattle closed $.07 lower at $119.55 and May feeder cattle closed $.05 higher at $118.55.
Another round of light direct cash cattle trade has developed. Deals in Nebraska are at $95 live and $150 dressed, which was steady with Tuesday, but still lower than last week’s weighted averages. The rest of cattle country remains quiet. Asking prices are at $100 plus live in the South and $160 dressed in the North.
At the Kingsville Livestock Auction in Missouri, compared to last week, steers under 700 pounds were steady to $7 higher. Yearling steers were steady to $4 lower. Heifer calves were unevenly steady from $5 higher to $5 lower. The undertone for yearling heifers was mostly steady. The supply was moderate to heavy and demand was moderate to good. Receipts were up on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 48 percent steers and 62 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 782 to 791 pounds brought $124 to $124.85 and feeder steers 825 to 844 pounds brought $116.85 to $122. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 604 to 644 pounds brought $122.25 to $140 and feeder heifers 728 to 730 pounds brought $112.35 to $114.
Boxed beef closed sharply higher again on heavy demand for moderate offerings. Choice is $25.56 higher at $357.38 and Select is $19.03 higher at $339.91. Estimated cattle slaughter is 72,000 head – down 13,000 on the week and down 39,000 on the year. Tuesday’s cattle slaughter has been revised to 72,000 head.
Lean hog futures ended the day mostly lower on profit-taking and ongoing concerns about processing slow-downs as plants continue to battle COVID-19. May lean hogs closed $1.22 higher at $56.27 and June lean hogs closed $.67 lower at $55.52.
Cash hogs closed mixed with moderate negotiated purchases. The cash market remains under pressure as the processing sector is running well below its daily capacity as COVID-19 outbreaks continue to be a challenge. This comes at a time when supplies of market-ready hogs are more than ample. The slowdowns and shutdowns are causing backups and some producers are faced with difficult decisions regarding the future of their operations. Hog weights rose this week to 286.1 pounds, an increase of .3 of a pound from last week, but even on the year. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.45 higher with a base range of $32 to $41 for a weighted average of $36.46; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.55 lower for a weighted average of $36.30; the Western Corn Belt closed $.58 lower for a weighted average of $37.27. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $24 in Dorchester, Wisconsin. Garnavillo, Iowa is closed today. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were weak with good demand for heavy offerings at $12 to $25. Barrow and gilt prices were steady with light demand for heavy offerings at $10 to $15.
Pork values closed higher – up $2.24 at $90.73. All of the primals were higher to sharply higher. Loins closed lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 271,000 head, down 92,000 on the week and down 200,000 on the year. Tuesday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 278,000 head.