Cattle, hog futures close mostly higher
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle closed mostly higher ahead of widespread direct cash business. August live cattle closed $.02 higher at $102.30 and October live cattle closed $.02 lower at $107.45. August feeder cattle closed $.10 higher at $144.80 and September feeder cattle closed $.15 lower at $146.47.
Another round of light to moderate direct cash cattle trade took place on Wednesday. Deals in Texas have been reported at $99 to $100, steady to $1 higher than Tuesday’s very light trade and about $2.50 to $3.50 higher than last week’s weighted averages. All remains quiet in the North with some bids surfacing at $160 to $162 dressed. Look for asking prices to be restated at $101 to $102 live in the South and $165 dressed in the North.
At the Hub City Livestock Auction in South Dakota, there were different weight classes offered this week so an accurate trend is not available. The USDA says demand was good to very good for the offering of mostly packages and loads. Similar to last week, flesh varied from light to heavy depending on the cattle. Quality was mostly average to attractive and the market was active. Receipts were up on the week. Feeder supply included 43 percent steers and 93 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 657 to 698 pounds brought $152 to $162.75 and feeder steers 953 to 984 pounds brought $125.50 to $131.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 707 to 737 pounds brought $143.50 to $146 and feeder heifers 50 to 869 pounds brought $126 to $136.75.
Estimated cattle slaughter is 117,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and 3,000 on the year. Tuesday’s cattle slaughter has been revised to 116,000 head.
Lean hog futures closed mostly higher on spread trade and the sharply higher wholesale values at midday. August lean hogs closed $.25 lower at $49.45 and October lean hogs closed $.27 higher at $49.30.
Cash hogs closed steady to weak with solid negotiated numbers. The market continues to watch the supply and demand picture. All eyes will be on Thursday’s Export Sales Report from the USDA. The industry is hoping to see demand for US pork strengthen both globally and domestically. That’s a necessity for price support as the supply of market-hogs is more than ample and processors continue to push daily slaughter totals higher. Hog weights dropped again this week, down 1.4 pounds for a weighted average of 279.7 pounds. That’s still 3.3 pound above year-ago levels. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.26 lower at $37 to $40 for a weighted average of $38.49; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.18 lower for a weighted average of $38.06; the Western Corn Belt closed $.21 lower for a weighted average of $38.03. 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 heavy offerings at $10 to $22. Barrow and gilt prices were $4 lower with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $19 to $24. Boars ranged from $1 to $3.
Estimated hog slaughter is 475,000 head – down 2,000 on the week and down 1,000 on the year. Tuesday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 459,000 head.