Market News

Hog futures up on technical buying

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle were lower on follow through selling, with most months down sharply, waiting for the rest of the week’s direct cash cattle business. Feeders had additional pressure from the firm trade in corn. April live was down $.52 at $164.27 and June was $1.02 lower at $158.65. April feeders were $1.50 lower at $197.65 and May was June was down $1.90 at $203.57.

Direct cash cattle trade picked up Friday afternoon. Light trade was reported in several areas. Kansas live deals are at $165, while dressed deals in Nebraska are marked at $265. All prices fully steady with the prior week. Asking prices for cattle left on showlists are around $167-plus in the South and $267-plus in the North.

At the Ogallala Livestock Auction in Nebraska, demand was good from the buyers in the crowd with internet activity noticed. USDA says that compared to two weeks ago, steers over 650 pounds sold steady to $3 higher and heifers over 500 pounds sold steady to $3 higher. Feeder supply included 57% steers and 72% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 663 to 699 pounds brought $230.50 to $245 and feeder steers 753 to 784 pounds brought $195.75 to $201. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 650 to 697 pounds brought $181 to $194.50 and feeder heifers 750 to 798 pounds brought $173 to $178.

Boxed beef cutout values closed mixed. Choice was $.31 higher at $284.91 and Select was $4.51 lower at $271.54.

Estimated cattle slaughter was 114,000 head – down 3,000 on the week and up 4,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures were supported by technical buying, making solid gains without any real fundamental backing. April was up $2.37 at $87.45 and June was up $2.32 at $102.77.

Cash hogs were steady to lower with moderate closing negotiated numbers for the major direct markets. Buyers were able to issue those steady to lower bids after moving plenty of ready numbers earlier in the week. Recent increases in spending have been limited with buyers continuing to hold a lot of leverage over the market. Wholesale demand remains fairly inconsistent and there are some questions about sustained export demand. Average direct weights are trending below year ago levels, which could help blunt any significant slowdown in demand, at least to an extent.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.41 lower with a base range of $73 to $80 and weighted average of $78.17; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.69 lower with a weighted average of $78.88; the Western Corn Belt closed $.95 lower with a weighted average of $78.48. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets were called steady at $58.

At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $51 to $63. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $51 to $61. Boars were $15 to $25 and $8 to $15.

Pork values closed lower – down $.59 at $87.80. Butts, picnics, and hams were higher. Loins, ribs, and bellies were lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 480,000 head – up 13,000 on the week and up 4,000 on the year.

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