Market News

Hog futures mixed at midweek

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mixed, and feeders were mostly lower, waiting for direct business to develop.  June live cattle closed $.40 lower at $175.32 and August lives closed $.15 lower at $172.77.  May feeders closed $.70 lower at $240.27 and August feeders closed $.22 lower at $252.12. 

Direct cash cattle trade activity was quiet.  Bids were elusive.  Asking prices were around $184 to $185 live in the South, while still not established in the North.   Significant trade volume is likely going to hold out until sometime Thursday or Friday. 

At the Ozarks Regional Stockyards in Missouri, steer and heifer calves were steady to $4 lower, with spots of $8 lower on steers.  The USDA says demand was moderate on a light to moderate supply.  Thin-conditioned calves are getting more difficult to find as pasture conditions continue to improve.  Receipts were up on the week and down on the year.  Feeder supply included 49% steers and 35% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 500 to 537 pounds brought $308 to $330 and feeder steers 655 to 660 pounds brought $278 to $280.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 515 to 548 pounds brought $268 to $293 and feeder heifers 612 to 616 pounds brought $245 to $248.50. 

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for solid offerings.  Choice was $1.24 lower at $296.78 and Select is $1.76 lower at $290.88.  The Choice/Select spread is $5.90  Estimated cattle slaughter was 124,000 head – down 12,000 on the week and down about 2,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures ended the day mixed on spread trade ahead of Thursday’s export sales report.  May lean hogs closed $.20 higher at $94.92 and June lean hogs closed $.10 lower at $102.72. 

Cash hogs closed mixed with a strong negotiated run.  Processors were a little more aggressive in their procurement efforts and bid up to move needed numbers.  Slaughter pace has been up, signaling strong demand.  U.S. pork has been in high demand on the global market and domestically is seeing some strength as summer grilling season is just around the corner.  The industry continues to eye the availability of market-ready hogs and hog weights, which were steady for the week but are still a pound heavier than year-ago levels. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were $.09 higher with a base range of $83 to $92 and a weighted average of $89.13; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.75 lower with a weighted average of $90.15; the Western Corn Belt closed $1.01 lower with a weighted average of $89.35.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $52. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 lower with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $45 to $57.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $51 to $61.  Boras ranged from $18 to $28 and $8 to $15. 

Pork values ended the day unchanged at $99.55. Butts, loins, and picnics were higher.  Ribs, bellies, and hams were lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 486,000 head – down 3,000 on the week and up about 9,000 on the year.

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