Market News

Lean hogs and pork sharply lower

Lean hogs settled 110 to 292 points in the red, following the continued pressure in the cash complex as well as a sharp loss posted in the pork values in the morning report. Volume remained light in the deferred contracts as most traders continued to focus on the pressure in nearby contract months.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed.25 lower at 68.28 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West was down .20 at 68.25, and nationally the market was .25 lower at 67.79. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady from 64.00 to 66.00. Midwest hogs on a live basis closed steady from 40.00 to 50.00.

The pork carcass cutout value was down $4.02 at 82.48 FOB plant. Bellies were down $17.40.

Over the last six weeks, dressed hog weights have averaged 210.7 pounds, 1.2 pounds lighter than last year. Weights are forecast to work lower further into the summer, but remain lighter than 2015.

Hog slaughter is estimated at 431,000 head, 6,000 greater than last week, and 10,000 more than last year.

Cattle country remained very quiet on Wednesday afternoon with bids and asking prices still few and far between. Although private sources report a few steers and heifers that have been priced around 118.00 to 120.00 live in parts of the South. USDA estimated the kill at 112,000 head, 1,000 less than last week, but 7,000 more than last year

Boxed beef cutout values were lower on light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings. Choice beef was down .85 at 199.08. Select was .77 lower at 190.05.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange closed 7 to 55 points higher after trading mixed for much of the session. The lack of follow-through support in beef values in the morning report continued to create questions through the entire complex if the recent gains in futures prices will be able to be sustained and pushed through market fundamentals. If beef values and cash cattle trade is unable to follow the recent gains higher in futures, the longevity of widespread futures buyer support will be in jeopardy, according to DTN analysts.

Feeder cattle finished mostly lower from 17 to 120 points lower after morning gains eroded with light to moderate pressure. Trade volume through the complex was at a near standstill as traders were unwilling to aggressively sell into the market which has shown significant support over the last three sessions. But the lack of fundamental support developing as traders head toward the end of July is causing buyers to remain on the sidelines for the moment.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Ozarks Regional Stockyards at West Plains, Missouri on Tuesday totaled 2539 head. Compared to last week, feeder steers and heifers traded 2.00 to 7.00 higher. Monday’s limit up futures and continued gains along with the volume of processed beef being moved helped the cash market to see some positive gains. Demand was very good on a moderate supply which included 10 pot loads of yearling heifers. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 819 pounds brought 131.31 per hundredweight. 364 head of replacement heifers weighing 823 pounds brought 132.50 per hundredweight.

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