Hog futures pressured by demand uncertainties
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed higher, following feeders, which were supported by the lower move in corn. Despite lower cash and boxed beef prices. December live cattle closed $.55 higher at $107.92 and February live cattle closed $.87 higher at $111.85. January feeder cattle closed $.57 higher at $137.60 and March feeder cattle closed $.45 higher at $139.25.
Direct cash cattle trade activity was sluggish on Thursday. Buyers continue to try and push down prices as boxed beef prices continue their slide. There was another round of light business in the North at $166 to $168, that’s steady to $1 lower than Wednesday’s business, but $4 to $5 lower than the prior week’s weighted averages. Bids in Nebraska have surfaced at $107 live and $166 to $168 dressed. The rest of cattle country has been quiet.
At the Bassett Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared to last week steers 500 to 650 pounds were unevenly steady and no comparable offerings for heifers. The USDA says demand was good with an active internet auction. Receipts were up on the week and down the year. Feeder supply included 81 percent steers and 55 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 553 to 589 pounds brought $161 to $173 and feeder steers 619 to 647 pounds brought $159 to $172. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 419 to 436 pounds brought $166.25 to $168.50 and feeder heifers 571 to 596 pounds brought $140 to $143.
Boxed beef closed sharply lower on light demand for heavy offerings. Choice closed $3.67 lower at $214.59 and Select closed $3.18 lower at $198.47.
Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – even on the week and down 2,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures closed lower, pressured by disappointing weekly sales numbers. December lean hogs closed $.32 lower at $64.80 and February lean hogs closed $1.17 lower at $65.10.
Cash hogs closed lower with a moderate negotiated run. The market continues to watch supply and demand. This week’s export sales report was less than stellar, but the industry remains optimistic demand for US pork will continue to see strength on the global market. The availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample and that’s not likely to change soon. Processors continue to push daily slaughter totals higher. While that helps prevent the backlog of hogs in the production system from growing, it also adds more pork to the market.
Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.84 lower with a base range of $48 to $56 with a weighted average of $54.24; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.65 lower with a weighted average of $53.80; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.62 lower with a weighted average of $53.79; the Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $39 and $40.
At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $24 to $37. Barrow and gilt prices were weak with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $33 to 439. Boars ranged from $15 to $30 and $5 to $10.
Pork values closed firm – up $.63 at $78.23. Picnics and hams closed sharply higher. Butts and loins are firm. Bellies and ribs are sharply lower.
Estimated hog slaughter is 493,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and down 5,000 on the year.