Hog futures supported by stronger midday pork
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed mostly lower and feeders were mostly higher ahead of widespread direct business. Feeder cattle had additional support from the day’s lower move in corn. December live cattle closed $.42 lower at $111.97 and February live cattle closed $.47 lower at $114.80. November feeder cattle closed $.52 lower at $140.07 and January feeders closed $.52 higher at $140.72.
Some light direct cattle trade was reported in Nebraska at $172 dressed on Thursday. That’s $7 higher than last week’s weighted averages. Those sales are marked for delayed delivery. Bids in other parts of cattle country were $110 to $111 live with asking prices holding firm at $112 to $114 live and $175+ dressed. Look for more business to develop on Friday.
At the OKC West Livestock Auction in Oklahoma, compared to last week, feeder steers were lightly tested last week, especially on heavier weights. But, where trends could be established they were mostly $1 to $2 higher. Feeder heifers were $8 to $10 higher. The USDA says demand was good to very good for all classes on limited comparable sales. Higher input costs has buyers more active on heavier weight cattle. Steer and heifer calves were $4 to $10 higher. The USDA says demand was good to very good and quality was average to mostly attractive. Receipts were up on the week and the year. Feder supply included 56 percent steers and 71 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 801 to 836 pounds brought $130 to $139 and feeder steers 861 to 885 pounds brought $131.25 to $136. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 651 to 698 pounds brought $124 to $135.75 and feeder heifers 750 to 796 pounds brought $128 to $134.50.
Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for moderate offerings. Choice is $3.66 higher at $226.50 and Select closed $.22 lower at $208.24. Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – even on the week and down 1,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures closed higher, supported by the higher pork values during the session. December lean hogs closed $1 higher at $65.80 and February lean hogs closed $.32 higher at $66.72.
Cash hogs closed lower with a solid negotiated run. The availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample and daily slaughter runs continue to push higher. That keeps the supply chain moving and prevents hogs from backing up any further in the production system. It also adds more pork to an already saturated market. But, the cash hog market remains optimistic demand for US pork will continue to grow globally and domestically. All eyes will be on the delayed Export Sales Report out Friday morning. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.02 lower with a base range of $55 to $61 with a weighted average of $60.17; the Iowa/Minnesota had no comparison but a weighted average of $59.67; the Western Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $59.49. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $46. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 higher with good demand for moderate offerings at $28 to $42. Barrow and gilt prices were firm with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $39 to $42. Boars ranged from $5 to $8.
Pork values are steady – down $.06 at $83.08. Hams closed sharply lower and bellies were weak. Picnics and loins are sharply higher. Ribs and butts are higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 492,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and 1,000 on the year. Wednesday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 454,000 head.