Hog futures supported by strong wholesale values
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed mixed on spread trade, finding support from the recent higher trend in wholesale values and the week’s higher cash trade. Feeder cattle closed lower, pressured by the day’s higher move in corn. August live cattle are up $.70 at $107.05 and October live cattle closed $.57 higher at $119.15. August feeder cattle closed $.30 lower at $144.95 and September feeders closed $.57 lower at $147.37.
Another round of direct cash cattle trade took place on Thursday. Light business was reported in parts of Kansas and Texas are at $104 live, fully steady with Wednesday’s business. There were just a handful of deals reported in the North and it looks like that part of the country is going to wait for Friday for the majority of its activity. Asking prices will likely be restated at $105 to $107 live and $170 plus dressed. Bids in the North on Thursday were at $165 to $166 dressed in Nebraska and $165 to $170 dressed in Iowa.
At the Mitchell Livestock Auction in South Dakota, a limited comparison was available due to light receipts. However, a steady to higher undertone was noted on steers. Heifers 650 to 900 pounds were steady to $2 lower. The USDA says demand was good and there were a fair amount of load lots in the day’s offerings. Feeder supplies included 75 percent heifers and 96 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 810 to 833 pounds brought $142.25 to $147 and feeder steers 861 pounds brought $139.75. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 765 to 799 pounds brought $134.50 to $140.50 and feeder heifers 856 to 890 pounds brought $128.75 to $132.10.
Boxed beef closed higher with good demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $1.86 higher at $210.95 and Select closed $1.42 higher at $197.41. The Choice/Select spread is $13.54. Estimated cattle slaughter is 118,000 head – even on the week and up 1,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day higher, supported by the sharply higher wholesale values during the session. August lean hogs closed $.80 higher at $53.70 and October lean hogs closed $.75 higher at $52.35.
Cash hogs closed steady with solid negotiated purchases. Demand for pork, both domestically and globally is facing a lot of uncertainty. That’s adding pressure to prices. Especially as supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts are heavy and daily slaughter totals continue to push higher adding more pork to the market. The latest Export Sales report from the USDA was less than stellar and that doesn’t help to provide price support to markets. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.17 lower with a base range of $37.47 to $39 for a weighted average of $37.51. Prices at the regional direct markets were not reported due to confidentiality. The Iowa/Minnesota and the Western Corn Belt have five-day rolling averages of $37.48.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $24. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate to good demand for heavy offerings at $11 to $23. Barrow and gilt prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $19 to $24. Boars ranged from $1 to $3.
Pork values closed higher – up $1.32 at $73.76. Hams, butts, and loins are all sharply higher. Picnics and ribs are weak. Bellies are lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 478,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and down 4,000 on the year.