Market News

Hog futures lower heading into the long weekend

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were up, supported by the week’s stronger cash business.  Feeders were under pressure from the higher move in corn.  June lives closed $.05 higher at $167.35 and August lives closed $.40 higher at $165.17.  August feeders closed $.77 lower at $233.92 and September feeders closed $.97 lower at $237.10. 

Direct cash cattle trade activity was quiet on Friday following the light, scattered round of business that took place on Thursday. For the week, Southern live deals were at mostly $171, about steady in Kansas and $1 higher than the prior week’s weighted averages in Texas.  Dressed deals in the North were marked at $285 to $286, $4 to $5 higher than the previous week’s weighted average basis. 

At the MO-Kan livestock market in Missouri, steers and heifers were steady to $5 higher and a larger offering of cattle 600 to 725 pounds sold with a higher undertone.  The USDA says demand was good with some fancy consignments of calves offered and a few yearlings.  Supply was moderate.  Receipts were down on the week and up on the year.  Feeder supply included 49% steers and 35% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 551 to 582 pounds brought $240 to $256 and feeder steers 604 to 629 pounds brought $240 to $254.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 466 to 499 pounds brought $218 to $229.50 and feeder heifers 508 to 548 pounds brought $214 to $231. 

In Nebraska this past week, all hay sales were steady.  The USDA says demand was good for ground and delivered products and bales of forages.  There was a very light supply of new-crop alfalfa on the ground in the eastern part of the state, that is going as green chop to dairies.  Hay cutting in earnest is expected to start after the holiday.  There is very little carry-over hay available.  Alfalfa, good, large rounds brought $190 to $230.  Alfalfa, ground, brought $285.  In the East, Alfalfa, good/premium brought $230.  Alfalfa, pellets, 17% dehydrated brought $420.  In the Platte Valley area, Alfalfa, good/premium standing brought $125 to $130.  Alfalfa, ground, brought $275 to $285.  Pellets 15% sun-cured, brought $360.  Pellets 17% dehydrated, brought $375.  In the West, alfalfa, good, large squares brought $275 to $285.  Alfalfa, ground, brought $275. 

Boxed beef closed higher on solid demand for fairly light offerings.  Choice was $3.99 higher at $303.93 and Select is $.38 higher at $284.92.  The Choice/Select spread was $19.01. Estimated cattle slaughter was 118,000 head – down 4,000 on the week and down 2,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 9,000 head – down 7,000 on the week and 15,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day lower, pressured by cash business during the session and long-term demand uncertainty.  June lean hogs closed $1.57 lower at $76.07 and July lean hogs closed $2.47 lower at $74.77.

Cash hogs closed lower with a light negotiated run.   Packers weren’t as aggressive this week and didn’t need to bid up to move their desired numbers.  One consistent component of the market is that ample supplies of market-ready hogs allow the market to move at the will of processors.  Export sales were sluggish this week, which adds uncertainty around long-term demand for US pork. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $3.77 lower with a base range of $73 to $87 and a weighted average of $75.69.  Prices at the Regional Direct Markets were not reported due to confidentiality. 

According to the USDA’s Weekly Feeder Pig report, early-weaned pigs were steady and all feeder pigs were $2 per head higher.  Demand was steady to weak for moderate offerings.  The Total Composite cash range was $2 to $27 and a weighted average of $10.05.  The Total Composite formula range was $11.92 to $50.27 with a weighted average of $31.28.  The weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $18.22 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $44.18.

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $60. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady, with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $10 to $20.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $44 to $54.  Boars ranged from $15 to $25 and $5 to $10. 

Pork values closed higher – up $1.01 at $82.20.  Hams, picnics, and butts were all higher.  Loins, bellies, and ribs were lower.   Estimated hog slaughter was 457,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and up 9,000 on the year.  Saturday’s estimated kill is 20,000 head – down 49,000 on the week and up9,000 on the year.  Thursday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 468,000 head. 

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