Hog futures supported by stronger cash and wholesale business
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day mixed watching cash trade develop. Feeder cattle closed higher on the day’s lower move in corn. February live cattle closed $.02 higher at $113.35 and April live cattle closed $.47 lower at $118.87. January feeder cattle closed $.90 higher at $135.30 and March feeder cattle closed $.72 higher at $137.52.
A moderate direct cash cattle trade took place on Wednesday. Deals in Kansas and Texas were at $110 live, steady to slightly lower than last week’s weighted averages. Northern live deals were at $109, about steady with last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. Asking prices were at $113 plus live in the South, while the North remained quiet. Look for more business to develop over the balance of the week. Today’s Fed Cattle Exchange had an offering of 1,547 head, with 567 head sold with a range of $110 to $112.
At the Imperial Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared to last week steers were steady to $6 higher and heifers were steady to $5 higher. The USDA says demand was good with a good selection on offer. Receipts were down from the previous week, but up on the year. Feeder supply included 67 percent cattle and 76 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 700 to 744 pounds brought $140 to $144.50 and feeder steers 817 to 882 pounds brought $133.25 to $139. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 504 to 540 pounds brought $149 to $155 and feeder heifers 707 to 726 pounds brought $130 to $134.50.
Boxed beef closed higher on good demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $1.42 higher at $218.91 and Select closed $.84 higher at $207.28. The Choice/Select spread is $11.63. Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and down 2,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day higher on short-covering, along with stronger cash and wholesale business. February lean hogs closed $1.95 higher at $68.42 and April lean hogs closed $1.65 higher at $73.07.
Cash hogs closed higher with a very large negotiated run. Packers bid up to move their desired numbers on Wednesday. The availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample and daily slaughter runs have been running at near-record levels every day. That’s helping to keep the supply chain moving, but it’s also adding more pork to an already saturated market. The industry continues to monitor supply and demand, as there has been uncertainty that current demand strength can continue to hold. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.82 higher with a base range of $48 to $58.50 and a weighted average of $55.08; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $1.88 higher with a weighted average of $56.51; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.54 higher with a weighted average of $56.31. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $40. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were firm with good demand for heavy offerings at $32 to $44. Barrow and gilt prices were steady with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $30 to $38. Boars ranged from $15 to $20 and $5 to $10.
Pork values closed higher – up $1.60 at $79.02. Picnics, hams, and loins all closed sharply higher. Bellies and butts were sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 498,000 head – even on the week and up 5,000 on the year.