Hog futures lower as demand uncertainty continues
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle futures ended the day lower on technical selling, waiting for this week’s direct business to develop. August live cattle closed $1 lower at $102.27 and October live cattle closed $.50 lower at $106.37. August feeder cattle closed $1.10 lower at $141.60 and September feeder cattle closed $.32 lower at $143.00.
It was a quiet start to the week for direct cash cattle trade. Showlists this week are mixed – higher in Texas, somewhat higher in Nebraska/Colorado, but lower in Kansas. There are a few scattered asking prices that surfaced in Kansas and Nebraska at $100 live. The rest of cattle country is quiet.
At the Oklahoma National Stockyards, all classes of feeder and steer calves were mostly $2 to $6 higher and feeder heifers were $1 to $4 higher, heifer calves were $4 to $6 higher. The USDA says demand was good to very good. Receipts were down slightly on the week, but higher than year-ago levels. Feeder supply included 66 percent steers and 83 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 751 to 792 pounds brought $119.50 to $145.75 and feeder steers 900 to 944 pounds brought $125.50 to $131.85. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 603 to 644 pounds brought $132.50 to $141.50 and feeder heifers 762 to 797 pounds brought $126.50 to $129.
Boxed beef closed higher on good demand for light to moderate offerings. Choice closed $1.27 higher at $201.74 and Select closed $1.28 higher at $191.59. The Choice/Select spread is $10.15. Estimated cattle slaughter is 117,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day lower on long-term demand uncertainties and contracts’ premium to cash. August lean hogs closed $2.40 lower at $50.40 and October lean hogs closed $1.87 lower at $49.20.
Cash hogs closed steady to firm with solid negotiated numbers. The industry continues to focus on the supply and demand picture. The availability of market-ready barrows and gilts is more than ample and slaughter runs continue to push near or above pre-COVID-19 levels. That’s adding more pork to the market. But, there is still demand uncertainty, both domestically and globally and that’s preventing prices from moving higher. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.13 higher with a base range of $29 to $35 for a weighted average of $31.66 and the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.43 higher for a weighted average of $32.12; the Western Corn Belt closed $.48 higher for a weighted average of $32.14. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $24. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were firm with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $9 to $20. Barrow and gilt prices were steady with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $14 to $22. Boars ranged from $1 to $3.
Pork values closed lower – down $2.75 at $68.44. Hams, picnics, ribs, and loins were all sharply lower. Butts closed steady. Bellies were sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 477,000 head – up 29,000 on the week and up 6,000 on the year.