Hog futures mostly lower on demand uncertainties

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Hog futures mostly lower on demand uncertainties

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were higher and feeders were lower ahead of widespread direct business.  December live cattle closed $.52 at $112.40 and February live cattle closed $.17 higher at $115.27.  November feeder cattle closed $.25 lower at $140.60 and January feeder cattle closed $.20 lower at $140.20. 

Direct cash cattle trade activity was at a standstill on Wednesday.  There were a handful of live deals in Iowa at $108.  A few bids surfaced out of Nebraska at $166 dressed.  Asking prices are holding around $112 live in the South and $175 dressed in the North.  It’s quite possible significant trade volume will be delayed until the last part of the week.   

At the Ozarks Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to last week, feeder steers and heifers were $5 to $10 higher with spots of $15 higher.  The USDA says demand was very good on a heavy supply.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 52 percent steers and 45 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 502 to 548 pounds brought $149 to $166 and feeder steers 603 to 646 pounds brought $140 to $156.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 500 to 549 pounds brought $127 to $139 and feeder heifers 602 to 636 pounds brought $125 to $133.10. 

Boxed beef closed steady to firm with light demand for moderate offerings.  Choice is $.59 higher at $222.84 and Select closed $.09 lower at $208.46. Estimated cattle slaughter is 115,000 head – down 4,000 on the week and the year. 

Lean hog futures closed mostly lower on spread trade and concerns about long-term demand uncertainties.  December lean hogs closed $.32 lower at $64.80 and February lean hogs closed $.17 lower at $66.40. 

Cash hogs closed mixed with a very light negotiated run. The industry continues to look at the supply and demand situation.  The availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample and processors continue to push daily slaughter totals higher.  That’s keeping the supply chain moving and also helping work through the backlog of hogs in the production system that’s still lingering from the COVID-related slowdowns and shutdowns.  But it’s also adding more pork to the market.  Hog weights this week rose to 287.7 pounds, that’s up slightly compared to last week and down just 0.2 from last year’s levels.  The industry, however, remains optimistic demand for US pork will continue to see a boost on the global market. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.62 higher with a base range of $57 to $62 with a weighted average of $61.05 and the Western Corn Belt closed $.40 lower with a weighted average of $59.76. Prices at the Iowa/Minnesota and the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.    

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $2 higher at $46. Pork values closed steady – up $.16 at $83.14.  Hams closed $6.34 higher.  Ribs were also higher.  The rest of the primals were lower. 

Estimated hog slaughter is 459,000 head – down 30,000 on the week and down 34,000 on the year. 

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