Market News

Hog future mostly higher heading into Friday

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were up, and feeders were mixed, watching direct business unfold. April live cattle closed $1.60 higher at $185.60 and June lives closed $.75 higher at $181.87.  March feeders closed $.87 higher at $247.10 and April feeders closed $.62 higher at $250.22. 

There was another active day of direct cash cattle business on Thursday.  Dressed deals in Nebraska were at $287 to $288, steady to $1 lower than the previous week’s weighted averages.  A handful of live deals were reported in Colorado at $180.  Expect some cleanup trade to take place before the end of the day Friday.  There was a light to moderate trade that took place in the South on Wednesday, with live deals at mostly $180, $2 below the previous week’s business.  There was some scattered live business in the North, which was steady to $1 below the prior week’s weighted average basis. 

At the Winter Livestock Auction in Kansas, steer calves 400 to 550 pounds were steady.  Steers 550 to 800 pounds were $5 to $7 higher.  Feeder steers 800 to 950 pounds were steady.  Feeder heifers 475 pounds to 800 pounds were $4 to $8 higher.  The UDSA says demand was good.  Receipts were up on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 63% steers and 82% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 702 to 745 pounds brought $241 to $260 and feeder steers 808 to 845 pounds brought $228.50 to $242.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 657 to 699 pounds brought $230 to $249 and feeder heifers 752 to 791 pounds brought $211 to $227.50.

Boxed beef closed higher with good demand for solid offerings.  Choice was $1.30 higher at $295.30 and Select was $3.97 higher at $287.99.  The Choice/Select spread is $7.31. Estimated cattle slaughter was 123,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and about even on the year.

Lean hog futures closed mostly higher supported by strong cash and wholesale business during the session and a very strong export sales report. April lean hogs closed $.47 higher at $85 and May lean hogs closed $.35 higher at $88.85. 

Cash hogs closed mixed with a fairly light negotiated run.  The market continues to lack any clear direction.  Global demand for US pork continues to be a bright spot, which was especially noticeable in this week’s Export Sales report as sales and shipments were both sharply higher.  Mexico took the top spot on both lists.  The industry continues to watch the availability of market-ready hogs, hog weights, and domestic demand. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.87 lower with a base range of $61 to $70 and a weighted average of $67.34; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.02 higher with a weighted average of $68.53; the Western Corn Belt closed $.41 lower with a weighted average of $68.08.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $4 higher at $52. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $38 to $50.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $37 to $47.  Boars ranged from $15 to $25 and $8 to $15.

Pork values closed sharply higher – up $4.04 at $89.95.  Hams, bellies, and loins were all sharply higher.  Butts and picnics were also higher.  Ribs were lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 489,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and up about 17,000 on the year.

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