Hog futures supported by higher cash trade
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day higher ahead of widespread direct business. February live cattle closed $1.10 higher at $115.97 and April live cattle closed $.82 higher at $122.52. March feeder cattle closed $1.20 higher at $!39.12 and April feeder cattle closed $1.17 higher at $142.25.
A sluggish day for direct cash cattle trade activity. Bids didn’t surface and asking prices were around $115 plus live in the South, while the North was quiet. DTN reports there were some sales at the Texas Cash Pool around $113, slightly higher than last week’s business. Significant trade volume will likely be delayed until the latter half of the week.
At the Callaway Livestock Center in Missouri, compared to last week 550-to-700-pound steers and 500-to-600-pound heifers all sold with a higher undertone on a light test. Two pot-loads of 8-weight steers were steady to firm and heifers over 600 pounds were steady with the previous week. The USDA says demand was good for the offering that was limited by less-than-ideal weather conditions. Quality, overall, was good. Receipts were down on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 50 percent steers and 73 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 553 to 580 pounds brought $154 to $164.50 and feeder steers 872 pounds brought $129.25. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 565 to 583 pounds brought $130 to $136 and feeder heifers 662 to 693 pounds brought $130 to $131.75.
Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for fairly light offerings. Choice closed $1.08 higher at $236.76 and Select closed $.55 lower at $225.04. The Choice/Select spread is $11.72. Estimated cattle slaughter is 118,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and down 3,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day higher, supported by stronger wholesale and cash business. February lean hogs closed $2 higher at $71.55 and April lean hogs closed $2.57 higher at $78.07.
Cash hogs closed sharply higher with a solid negotiated run. Packers bid up to move their desired numbers. The industry remains optimistic demand for US pork on both the global market and domestically will remain strong. That’s helped to provide at least some price support. But supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts are still more than ample. And, processors continue to push daily slaughter totals higher. Both add more pork to a market that is heavily saturated. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.27 higher with a base range of $51 to $63.50 and a weighted average of $58.44; the Iowa/Minnesota had no comparison but a weighted average of $61.89; the Western Corn Belt was $4.48 higher with a weighted average of $61.92 and the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $57.45.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $2 higher at $44. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were firm with good demand for heavy offerings at $36 to $48. Barrow and gilt prices were weak, with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $35 to $40. Boars ranged from $15 to $20 and $5 to $10.
Pork values closed lower – down $1.56 at $81.10. Bellies were sharply lower. Picnics and hams were sharply lower. Ribs were steady. Loins and butts were sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 495,000 head – up 46,000 on the week and up 2,000 on the year.