Sharply higher pork values support hog futures
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed higher and feeder cattle were mixed ahead of the bulk of the week’s direct business. December live cattle closed $.47 higher at $108.35 and February live cattle closed $.67 higher at $111.45. November feeder cattle closed $.12 lower at $137.57 and January feeder cattle closed $.25 higher at $135.40.
Another light to moderate day for direct cash cattle trade. There was light to moderate business across all areas. A light live trade in the South was marked at $107. The moderate dressed business in the North had a full range of $163 to $167. All of which are about steady with the week’s previous business.
At the Mitchell Livestock Auction in South Dakota, compared to last week steers up to 500 pounds had a higher undertone. Steers 500 to 800 pounds had an unevenly steady undertone noted. Heifers up to 800 pounds were unevenly steady and heifers 800 to 1000 pounds were steady to $3 higher. There was a higher undertone on heifers over 1000 pounds. The USDA says demand was good and many load lots in the days offering. Receipts were down on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 34 percent steers and 91 percnet of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 770 to 792 pounds brought $145.25 to $150 and feeder heifers 800 to 823 pounds brought $142.85 to $146.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 802 to 849 pounds brought $129.25 to $133.25 and feeder heifers 914 to 947 pounds brought $124.25 to $126.
Boxed beef closed sharply higher on good demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $2.36 higher at $212.55 and Select closed $1.92 higher at $197.97. Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – up 10,000 on the week and even on the year.
Lean hog futures were supported by the sharply higher wholesale values and the broader markets. December lean hogs closed $1.07 higher at $67.42 and February lean hogs closed $1.47 higher at $68.47.
Cash hogs closed weak to lower with a moderate negotiated run. The industry has kept a close eye on the supply and demand situation. Demand for US pork is expected to remain strong both globally and domestically, and that’s supportive to prices. However, the availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample and processors are continuing to push daily slaughter totals higher. That’s adding more pork to an already saturated market. One benefit of those higher slaughter runs is it’s helping to keep the supply chain moving which should help to move through some of the backlog of hogs in the production system that still lingers from the COVID-19-related slowdowns and shutdowns. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.29 lower with a base range of $56 to $64 for a weighted average of $61.28; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.41 lower with a weighted average of $60.92; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.53 lower with a weighted average of $60.77. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $40. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were firm with good demand for moderate offerings at $26 to $40. Barrow and gilt prices were steady with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $37 to $42. Boars ranged from $5 to $8.
Pork values closed sharply higher – up $3.97 at $86.38. Hams closed more than $10 higher. Bellies and loins were also sharply higher. Picnics closed higher. Butts were steady and ribs were sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 490,000 head – up 7,000 on the week and down 5,000 on the year.