Lower cash business pressures hog futures
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed higher and feeder cattle closed mostly higher watching direct business develop. December live cattle closed $.07 higher at $110.70 and February live cattle closed $.75 higher at $113.92. January feeder cattle closed $.15 higher at $141.80 and March feeder cattle closed $.32 higher at $140.97.
A light direct cash cattle trade was reported on Wednesday. Live deals in Texas were at $110 to $112, that’s $1 lower to $1 higher than last week’s weighted averages. Dressed deals in Nebraska are at mostly $172, roughly $1 lower than the prior week’s weighted average. Live deals were marked at $110. Look for more business to develop over the balance of the week. Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange had an offering of 1,025 head with 488 sold. There were 197 head sold for a weighted average price of $110.75, those are marked for 1 to 9-day delivery and 291 head sold with a weighted average price of $110.50 and are marked for 1 to 17-day delivery.
At the Hub City Livestock Auction in South Dakota, compared to two weeks ago, feeder steers under 500 pounds were steady to $2 lower and over 500 pounds were $2 to $5 higher, except 550 to 600 pounds, which were steady to $3 higher. Feeder heifers were steady to $4 higher. The USDA says demand for the weaned calf sale was very good and the quality was outstanding with very eye appealing cattle. Flesh condition was light to moderate. Receipts were down on the week and up on the year. Feeder supply included 64 percent steers and 51 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and large 1 feeder steers 603 to 643 pounds brought $150.25 to $162.75 and feeder steers 651 to 687 pounds brought $147.50 to $157.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 561 to 578 pounds brought $139.50 to $154.50 and feeder heifers 603 to 645 pounds brought $141 to $148.25.
Boxed beef closed steady to lower with light demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $2.51 lower at $240.89 and Select closed $.13 lower at $222.95. The Choice/Select spread is $17.94. Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 – up 2,000 on the week and 3,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures closed mostly lower, pressured by the lower cash trade and ongoing demand uncertainties. December lean hogs closed $.62 lower at $66.35 and February lean hogs closed $.87 lower at $67.87.
Cash hogs closed weak to lower with a solid negotiated run. Processors continue to push daily slaughter totals higher, which is helping to keep the supply chain moving and preventing a further backlog of hogs in the production system. And it’s a necessity as the availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample. But, it’s also adding more pork to an already saturated market. There is still optimism demand for US pork will remain strong on both the global and domestic markets. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.12 lower with a base range of $50 to $58.50 and a weighted average of $56.64; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.59 lower with a weighted average of $56.37; the Western Corn Belt closed $.20 lower with a weighted average of $56.65; the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $56.65.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $2 lower in Dorchester, Wisconsin and Garnavillo, Iowa at $34. Red Oak, Iowa is $5 lower at $37. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 lower with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $27 to $40. Barrow and gilt prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $35 to $41. Boars ranged from $15 to $20 and $5 to $10.
Pork values closed higher – up $2.78 at $79.86. Hams closed nearly $19 higher. Bellies were also higher. Picnics, ribs, and butts were all sharply lower. Loins closed lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 497,000 – up 3,000 on the week and even on the year. Tuesdays’ hog slaughter was revised to 488,000 head.