Market News

Cash hogs close higher on Wednesday

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were up and feeders were mostly higher, getting ready for the week’s direct business and Friday’s USDA Cattle on Feed report. April live was $.37 higher at $187.70 and June was up $.35 at $183.30. March feeders were down $.02 at $251.35 and April was up $.57 at $255.92.

Cash cattle country was quiet again on Wednesday. Asking prices were around $184 to $185 in the South and $292-plus in the North. Bids remain very elusive. Significant trade volume is expected Thursday or Friday.

At Tri-State Livestock Auction in Nebraska, feeder steers sold $3 to $12 higher, except 700 pounds were $8 lower, compared to the most recent sale. Feeder heifers were $1 to $11 higher. USDA says demand was good on an nice selection offered. Feeder supply included 57% steers and 80% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 824 to 848 pounds brought $240.50 to $251.10. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 655 to 676 pounds sold for $249.50 to $266.50.

Boxed beef cutout values were mixed at midday with Choice up $.84 at $298.21 and Select down $2.50 at $285.32. The Choice/Select spread was $12.89.

Estimated cattle slaughter was 120,000 head – down 3,000 on the week and down more than 5,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were mixed, adjusting spreads, with the USDA’s monthly livestock slaughter update out Thursday and cold storage numbers out Friday. The USDA’s weekly export sales report is also out Friday. April was up $.30 at $85.97 and June was down $.20 at $97.97.

Cash hogs were steady to higher with moderate to good closing negotiated numbers for the major direct markets. Buyers had to bid up to move the needed numbers after the slow start to this week, in-line with the trend of business over the past several weeks. It does look like domestic demand is starting to soften at least a little bit, but widespread grilling season isn’t that far off. The average barrow and gilt weight in the Iowa/Southern Minnesota/South Dakota reporting area last week was 288 pounds, down seven tenths on the week, but up 2 pounds on the year.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were up $2.37 with a base range of $65 to $74 and weighted average price of $72.62.

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets are trending steady at $50; slaughter sows are steady at $39 to $42; boars are $14. At Illinois slaughter sow prices were steady at $38 to $50; barrows are gilts were steady at $37 to $47; boars were marked at $8 to $25.

Pork values closed lower – down $2.27 at $90.17.

Estimated hog slaughter was 490,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and up more than 87,000 on the year.

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