Hog futures higher to start the week
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed mostly lower and feeder cattle were higher ahead of the week’s direct business. Feeder cattle had additional support from the day’s lower move in corn. December live cattle closed $.45 lower at $110.17 and February live cattle closed $.37 lower at $112.87. January feeder cattle closed $1.22 higher at $141.05 and March feeder cattle closed $.97 higher at $139.97.
Direct cash cattle trade activity was at a standstill to start the week. Bids and asking prices have yet to surface. Showlists this week are steady in Texas, higher in Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado. Significant trade volume is expected to be delayed until the latter part of the week.
At Mid-session at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, compared to last week, feeder cattle and calves were steady. The USDA says demand was moderate to good and quality was mostly average. Receipts were up slightly on the week and on the year. Feeder supply included 57 percent steers and 45 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 552 to 599 pounds brought $151.50 to $162 and feeder steers 651 to 695 pounds brought $140 to $145.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 559 to 598 pounds brought $135 to $136.75 and feeder heifers 650 to 696 pounds brought $130 to $136.
Boxed beef closed higher with good demand for fairly light offerings. Choice closed $.83 higher at $244.02 and Select is $1.48 higher at $222.16. The Choice/Select spread is $21.86. Estimated cattle slaughter is 119,000 head – down 1,000 on the week, but even on the year.
Lean hog futures higher, supported by sharply higher pork values during the session. December lean hogs closed $1.70 higher at $67.57 and February lean hogs closed $1.32 higher at $68.57.
Cash hogs closed firm with a solid negotiated run. The industry continues to monitor supply and demand. The availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample, and processors continue to push daily slaughter totals higher. While that’s keeping the supply chain moving and preventing more hogs from backing up in the production system, it’s also adding more pork to an already saturated market. The industry is optimistic demand for US pork will continue to see strength both globally and domestically. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.15 higher with a base range of $50 to $58.50 and a weighted average of $56.67; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.30 higher with a weighted average of $56.50; the Western Corn Belt closed $.41 higher with a weighted average of $56.76; the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $56.71.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets had no comparison but are at $36, which is below the last reported prices last week. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were weak with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $28 to $41. Barrow and gilt prices were weak with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $36 to $42. Boars ranged from $15 to $19 and $5 to $8.
Pork values closed steady – up $.13 at $80.09. Bellies were sharply higher. Loins closed firm. Hams were steady. Picnics closed sharply lower. Ribs and butts were lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 497,000 head – even on the week and up 1,000 on the year.