Market News

Hog futures pressured by demand uncertainties

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were mixed ahead of the week’s direct business.  August lives closed $1.67 higher at $184.82 and October lives closed $.17 higher at $183.80.  August feeders closed $.52 higher at $258.90 and September feeders closed $.22 higher at $260.12. 

Direct cash cattle trade activity was quiet Monday.  Bids and asking prices didn’t surface.  Showlists this week are mixed – somewhat higher in Kansas, but lower in Nebraska, Colorado, and in Texas.  Significant trade volume will likely be delayed until late in the week.

At the Joplin Regional Stockyards in Missouri, feeder steers were $7 to $14 lower.  Yearling steers over 725 pounds were steady to $6 higher.  Feeder heifer calves were $2 to $4 lower.  Yearling heifers over 700 pounds were steady to $10 higher.  The USDA says supply was heavy with good demand.  A draft of 718 steers weighing 891 pounds brought $261.50.  Feeder supply included 68% steers and 81% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 810 to 844 pounds brought $252 to $265.50 and feeder steers 850 to 891 pounds brought $249 to $261.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 613 to 642 pounds brought $254 to $290 and feeder heifers 751 to 793 pounds brought $233 to $244.

Boxed beef closed higher on good demand for moderate offerings.  Choice was $.25 higher at $322.64 and Select closed $1.96 higher at $305.07.  The Choice/Select spread is $17.57. Estimated cattle slaughter was 115,000 head – down 1,000 on the week and down nearly 10,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures ended the day lower, pressured by demand uncertainty.  Quarterly Hogs and Pigs numbers from the USDA are out Thursday.  July lean hogs closed $2.10 lower at $89.95 and August lean hogs closed $2.60 lower at $86.72. 

Cash hogs closed higher with a moderate negotiated run.  Business is off to its best start in weeks as processors got a little more aggressive in their procurement efforts and bid up to move needed numbers.  Demand for U.S. pork continues to be strong on the global market, and that’s helping provide some price support.  The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs and hog weights, which may be entering a seasonal decline, but are still well above year-ago levels. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.60 higher with a base range of $83 to $89 and a weighted average of $86.64; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.49 higher with a weighted average of $86.95; the Western Corn Belt closed $.49 higher with a weighted average of $86.76.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $66. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 higher with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $61 to $73.  Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $52 to $62.  Boars ranged from $18 to $28 and $8 to $15.

Pork values closed lower – down $1.20 at $97.83.  Butts and loins were both sharply lower.  Picnics were weak.  Ribs were about steady, while bellies and hams were higher. Estimated hog slaughter was 473,000 head – up 14,000 on the week and up more than 35,000 on the year.

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