Market News

Hog futures mixed ahead of Thursday’s USDA report

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were higher watching corn and the direct markets.  August live cattle closed $.62 higher at $174.50 and October lives closed $.65 higher at $177.67.  August feeder cattle closed $2.12 higher at $242.37 and September feeders closed $2.07 higher at $245.80. 

Another light round of direct cash cattle business developed on Thursday.  Deals in parts of Nebraska were at $182 live, about $1 lower than the previous week’s weighted averages.  Bids in other areas were at $178 to $179 live and $290 dressed.  Asking prices were around $182 live in the South and $292 dressed in the North.  More business is likely to develop before the end of the day Friday. There’s been some scattered trade reported throughout the week.  Live deals in Texas have been at $178 to $179, $1 to $2 lower than last week’s weighted averages.  In Kansas, deals have been reported at mostly $178, $2 below the previous week’s business.  Some business has also been reported in Iowa, but not near enough to establish a trend. 

At the South Central Regional Stockyards in Missouri, steer calves under 600 pounds were lightly tested on limited offerings but sold with a lower undertone.  Steers 600 to 700 pounds were firm to $5 higher with spots of $8 higher on 600-to-650-pound steers.  Feeder heifers 450 to 500 pounds were steady to firm with spots of $3 higher.  Heifers 500 to 600 pounds were mostly $10 higher.  The USDA says demand was moderate to good on a moderate offering.  The market saw the best demand and quality on 6-weight steers and 5-weight heifers.  Receipts were up on the week and the year.  Feeder supply included 47% steers and 34% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 610 to 640 pounds brought $257 to $272.25 for an average price of $260.21 and feeder steers 665 to 685 pounds brought $247 to $258.50 for an average price of $254.97.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 500 to 549 pounds brought $259 to $261.50 for an average price of $260.70 and feeder heifers 560 to 580 pounds brought $242 to $259 for an average price of $253.14. 

Boxed beef closed higher on solid demand for moderate offerings.  Choice was $.15 higher at $328.05 and Select closed $.50 higher at $297.18.  The Choice/Select spread was $30.87. Estimated cattle slaughter was 125,000 head – even on the week and the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mixed ahead of the USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report.  July lean hogs closed $1.17 higher at $94.45 and August lean hogs closed $1.22 higher at $92.32. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a light negotiated run.  Cash hog business has been lackluster at best this week.  Processors have moved needed numbers without having to really work at it.  All eyes were on Thursday’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report which was expected to show a reduction in breeding inventory but did not.  However, quarterly farrowing intentions did show a decline. While this week’s export sales report showed a bit of a decline, there is still relatively strong pork demand on the global market. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.21 lower with a base range of $85 to $99 and a weighted average of $94.00 and the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $86.89.  Prices at the Iowa/Minnesota and the Western Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $68. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $25 to $35.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $52 to $62.  Boars ranged from $15 to $25 and $5 to $10. 

Pork values closed sharply higher– up $3.82 at $102.90.  Bellies closed nearly $19 higher.  Hams were also sharply higher.  Ribs were higher.  Picnics, loins, and butts were lower.  Estimated hog slaughter was 456,000 head – down 7,000 on the week and 10,000 on the year.  

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