Hog futures mixed ahead of Hogs and Pigs report

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Hog futures mixed ahead of Hogs and Pigs report

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day lower pressured by the broader markets and the lower wholesale values.  Feeder cattle were mixed on spread trade.  August live cattle closed $.85 lower at $96.35 and October live cattle closed $.25 lower at $99.62.  August feeder cattle closed $.32 lower at $132.87 and September feeder cattle closed $.30 lower at $134.17. 

Another round of light to moderate direct cash cattle took place on Wednesday.  Northern dressed deals were $155 to $156, that’s about $1 higher than Tuesday’s business.  Southern live business was marked at $97, roughly $4 lower than last week’s weighted averages.  Asking prices are firm at $102 to $105 live in the South and $160 dressed in the North. 

At the Hub City Livestock Auction in South Dakota, compared to last week, the best test was on 850 to 950 pounds were $1 to $4 higher.  The best test on heifers 800 to 850 pounds were $2 to $3 higher.  Other weight classes were not well compared.  The USDA says demand was moderate to good on the offering of packages and loads and a couple of strings with lighter, backgrounding-type cattle.  The quality was similar to last week with mostly average to attractive quality cattle offered.  The market was moderate to active.  Receipts were down slightly on the week and about even on the year.  Feeder supply included 70 steers and 92 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 803 to 846 pounds brought $127.50 to $135.25 and feeder steers 853 to 893 pounds brought $122.50 to $131.75.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 757 to 795 pounds brought $120.25 to $124.75 and feeder heifers 821 to 849 pounds brought $116 to $124.25.

Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for moderate to heavy offerings.  Choice closed $2.12 lower at $209.69 and Select closed $1.88 lower at $201.69.  The Choice/Select spread is $8. Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – even on the week and down 3,000 on the year.

Lean hog futures ended the day mixed ahead of the USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report. July lean hogs closed $.97 lower at $45.92 and August lean hogs closed $1.25 lower at $51.25. 

Cash hogs closed steady with solid negotiated numbers.  Supply and demand concerns continue to stress the market.  Supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts are more than ample and there is uncertainty surrounding both domestic and global demand for US pork.  Especially as China has halted imports because of COVID-19 outbreaks at processing facilities.  Packers have been increasing daily slaughter totals and that’s helping to keep the supply chain moving, but it’s also adding more pork to the market.  The industry is also still trying to work through the backlog of hogs that remains from the plant slowdowns and shutdowns from COVID-19 outbreaks.  Average hog weights dropped another pound this week to 285.6 pounds, but that’s still nearly 2 pounds above year-ago levels.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.16 lower with a base range of $24 to $30 for an average of $28.50; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.16 lower for a weighted average of $28.36; the Western Corn Belt is $.16 lower for a weighted average of $28.34.  The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $20.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate to good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $7 to $18.  Barrow and gilt prices were weak with light demand for moderate offerings at $10 to $18.  Boars ranged from to $2 to $5.

Pork values closed sharply higher – up $4.50 at $67.68.  Hams finished the day more than $15 higher.  Loins, ribs, picnics, and butts were also higher.  Bellies closed lower.  Estimated hog slaughter is 468,000 head – up 8,000 on the week and down 5,000 on the year.  Tuesday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 457,000 head. 

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