Hog futures higher to end the week
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day lower on profit-taking, the sluggish end to the week for cash trade, and the continued slide in wholesale values. Feeder cattle were lower on the same factors with additional support from the days modestly higher move in corn. June live cattle closed $1.82 lower at $93.90 and August live cattle closed $1.75 lower at $96.17. August feeder cattle closed $.55 lower at $134.17 and September feeder cattle closed $1.02 lower at $135.47.
Direct cash cattle trade ended the week on a quiet note. There was a light to moderate trade develop across most areas throughout the week with wide price swings. Northern dressed deals had a full range of $170 to $187 and Southern live business ranged from $105 to $118.
In Missouri this past week, steer and heifer calves were steady to $3 lower. Yearlings were steady with spots of $3 higher. The USDA says demand was moderate and supply was heavy. Plenty of reputation consignments were on offer as many barns saw an uptick in receipts coming of the shortened holiday week. Receipts were up significantly on the week and on the year. Feeder supply included 59 percent steers and 46 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 550 to 598 pounds brought $136 to $172.25 and feeder steers 600 to 649 pounds brought $127.50 to $166.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 500 to 549 pounds brought $125 to $154.50 and feeder heifers 600 to 649 pounds brought $117 to $144.
In Nebraska, all reported forages sold steady on a thin test. This time of year typically is a slow time for hay sales. There’s some optimism from alfalfa producers who sell to dairies. Hay production across the state is increasing and some are cutting a little earlier than usual with less tonnage but had concerns about weevil infestations. There’s been decent weather for drying hay. In Eastern/Central Nebraska Alfalfa: Fair to mostly good large rounds brought $85 to $95. Prairie Hay: Good large rounds brought $70 to $90. Large rounds of brome hay brought $100 per bale and small squares brought $5 to $6.50 per bale. Sun-cured pellets 15% protein brought $285. In the Platte Valley area: Alfalfa, good large rounds brought $85 to $90. Ground and delivered alfalfa brought $115 to $120. Dehy alfalfa pellets 15 percent protein brought $285. In Western Nebraska: Alfalfa, Good large squares brought $135 to $150. Good large rounds brought $100 to $115. Ground and delivered brought $153.
Boxed beef ended the day sharply lower again on light demand for moderate to heavy offerings. Choice closed $10.78 lower at $261.48 and Select closed $13.99 lower at $246.42. The Choice/Select spread is $15.06.
Estimated cattle slaughter is 116,000 head – up 5,000 on the week, and down 3,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 63,000 head, down 20,000 on the week, but even on the year.
With the exception of the nearby contract, lean hog futures ended the day higher on follow-through buying, support from higher wholesale values during the session, and broader markets. June lean hogs closed $.97 lower at $47.45 and July lean hogs closed $.35 higher at $53.92.
Cash hogs closed weak with moderate negotiated numbers. The supply of market-ready hogs is more than ample. Slaughter runs continue to increase and that’s helping to keep the supply chain running. This is the first week since the start of the disruption at packing facilities the weekly slaughter totals have been above year-ago levels. But, processors aren’t at pre-COVID-19 levels and that’s making it difficult to work through the hogs already backed up in the supply chain. The unemployment rate fell for May and was significantly below pre-report estimates, that is potentially good news for the domestic demand picture. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.83 lower with a base range of $28 to $35.25 for a weighted average of $32.14; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.10 lower for a weighted average of $32.58; the Western Corn Belt is $.10 lower for a weighted average of $32.58; the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $32.26.
This week’s Feeder Pig Report has early-weaned pigs $2 per head lower and all feeder pigs $3 per head lower. The USDA says demand was light for moderate to heavy offerings and receipts included 52 percent formulated prices. The Total Composite formula range was $10.05 to $40.50 for an average of $26.91 and the cash range was $1 to $8.50 for an average of $5.11. The Total Composite weighted average for all early-weaned pigs was $17.48 and the average for all feeder pigs was $14.65.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $20. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for light offerings at $7 to $20. Barrow and gilt prices were firm with light demand for heavy offerings at $16 to $20. Boars ranged from $1 to $5.
Pork values closed lower – down $2.07 at $72.78. Hams, ribs, and loins closed sharply lower. Butts, bellies, and picnics all closed higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 438,000 head – that’s up 19,000 on the week and down 30,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 323,000 head – up 53,000 on the week and up 271,000 on the year.