Market News

Lean hog futures mixed on Thursday

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were lower, waiting for the week’s widespread direct business. June live was down $.80 at $182.55 and August was $.42 lower at $179.77. August feeders were $1.17 lower at $259.07 and September was down $1.12 at $260.67.

Cash cattle country had some light trade reported on Thursday in parts of the South at $186, $1 lower than last week’s weighted averages. There are a few bids on the table in parts of Nebraska at $300 dressed, with some Southern asking prices remaining firm from $189 to $191. Significant trade volume could be delayed until sometime on Friday.

At the Hub City Livestock Auction in South Dakota, feeder heifers over 850 pounds were steady to $4 lower compared to the most recent sale. USDA says there was good to very good demand for an offering that featured a couple strings and quite a few loads and packages. Quality varied from plain to attractive. Feeder supply included 49% steers and 98% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 907 pounds brought $250.25 Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 752 to 796 pounds sold for $239 to $261.

Boxed beef cutout values closed higher with Choice up $.42 at $314.04 and Select $.04 higher at $302.52. The Choice/Select spread was $11.52.

Estimated cattle slaughter was 125,000 head – up 3,000 on the week and unchanged on the year.

Lean hog futures were mixed, mostly modestly higher, on spread trade and the higher midday move in pork. June was up $.20 at $93.97 and July was $.62 higher at $96.95.

Cash hogs were steady to lower with a moderate closing negotiated run at the major direct markets. It looks like many buyers either had most of the rest of the week’s needs in hand following Wednesday’s movement or were able to apply some leverage to get those supplies Thursday. There continue to be uncertainties about sustained wholesale demand even after the start of summer grilling season. The USDA’s weekly export sales numbers are out Friday, delayed by Memorial Day.

Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were down $1.69 with a base range of $84 to $90 and weighted average of $87.36. The Iowa/Minnesota was down $1.65 with a weighted average of $87.93. The Western Corn Belt was down $1.75 with a weighted average of $87.73. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets were trending steady at $55; slaughter sows were steady at $36 to $39; boars were marked at $12. At Illinois, slaughter sows were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $36 to $48; barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $51 to $61; boars were priced at $18 to $28 and $8 to $15.

Pork values closed higher – up $.21 at $101.95.

Estimated hog slaughter was 487,000 head – up 7,000 on the week and up nearly 10,000 on the year.

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