Hog futures mixed ahead of Thursday’s report
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle closed higher ahead of this week’s direct cash business and position squaring ahead of Friday’s Cattle on Feed numbers. October live cattle closed $.67 higher at $107.15 and December live cattle closed $1.02 higher at $111.20. September feeder cattle closed $.30 higher at $142 and October feeder cattle closed $.90 higher at $141.52.
Another quiet day for direct cash cattle trade activity. Bids were scarce. Asking prices in the South were around $106 plus live, but there has been little to no activity in the North. It’s likely significant trade volume will be delayed until sometime Thursday or Friday.
At the Kingsville Livestock Auction in Missouri, compared to last week steer and heifer calves were lightly tested, but sold steady to $3 higher. Yearlings traded $3 to $7 higher. The USDA says demand was good for a quality run of mostly yearlings coming off grass and supply was moderate. Feeder supply included 61 percent steers and 72 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 668 to 691 pounds brought $147 to $156.25 and feeder steers 702 to 749 pounds brought $149 to $160. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 603 to 631 pounds brought $137.50 to $152 and feeder heifers 659 to 684 pounds brought $138.25 to $153.75.
Boxed beef closed firm to higher on moderate to good demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $.43 higher at $216.40 and Select closed $1.30 higher at $207.60. Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – even on the week and up 2,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day mixed on spread trade and position squaring ahead of Thursday’s Hogs and Pigs report. October lean hogs closed $1.17 higher at $69.50 and December lean hogs closed $.25 higher at $64.35.
Cash hogs closed steady to higher with solid negotiated purchases. Daily slaughter totals are pushing higher and that’s helping to keep the supply chain moving and work through the backlog of hogs in the production system. Supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts are more than ample. The combination adds more pork to an already saturated market. The industry, however, remains optimistic demand for US pork will see a big boost as African swine fever continues to disrupt the global pork picture. If demand sees solid improvement, prices could consistently push higher. Hog weights this week rose to 280.2 pounds, that’s up .5 pound from last week, but 0.3 pounds below year-ago levels. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.00 higher with a base range of $58.50 to $68 for an average of $64.35; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.24 lower for a weighted average of $64.23; the Western Corn Belt closed $.23 lower for a weighted average of $64.23. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported at midday due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $28. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $11 to $23. Barrow and gilt prices were $1 higher with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $40 to $44. Boars ranged from $1 to $3.
Pork values closed firm – up $.31 at $88.97. Hams and ribs were higher to sharply higher. Bellies were firm. Loins were weak and butts and picnics were sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 487,000 head – up 2,000 on the week and up 11,000 on the year.