Cash trade pressures hog futures
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mixed ahead of widespread direct business and feeder cattle closed lower, pressured by the higher move in corn. February live cattle closed $.05 lower at $115 and April live cattle closed $.17 higher at $119.27. January feeder cattle closed $.90 lower at $135.77 and March feeder cattle closed $.85 lower at $136.57.
Another relatively quiet day for direct cash cattle trade activity. There some scattered trade reported in the South at $112 live. Asking prices were at $114 plus live in the South and $180 dressed in the North. Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange was a non-starter with an offering of 1,142 head, just 42 head sold for $112.
At the Sioux Falls Regional Cattle Auction in South Dakota, compared to last week feeder steers were steady to $3 lower. Feeder heifers under 750 pounds had steady to higher, heifers over 750 pounds were $3 lower with instances of $5 to $10 lower on 750 to 850-pound heifers. There was a nice offering of attractive to very attractive steers and heifers, and demand was good to very good at times. Flesh condition ranged from moderate to moderate plus. Receipts were up on the week, but down on the year. Feeder supply included 55 percent steers and 74 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 651 to 694 pounds brought $141.25 to $154.75 and feeder heifers 703 to 748 pounds brought $139 to $150. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 652 to 698 pounds brought $133 to $148.50 and feeder heifers 805 to 823 pounds brought $125.25 to $130.50.
Boxed beef closed weak on light to moderate demand for heavy offerings. Choice closed $.63 lower at $205.27 and Select closed $.41 lower at $196.08. Estimated cattle slaughter is 117,000 head – even on the week and down 7,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures were pressured by sharply lower cash and lower pork values. February lean hogs closed $1.15 lower at $69.77 and April lean hogs closed $1.10 lower at $73.
Cash hogs closed sharply lower with strong negotiated numbers. Heavy supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts are putting pressure on prices. Daily slaughter totals continue to push higher and that adds more pork to an already saturated market at a time when demand, both globally and domestically, face uncertainty. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were $2.34 lower with a base range of $44 to $57.40 and a weighted average of $52.35. The Iowa/Minnesota closed 2.34 lower with a weighted average of $52.02 and the Western Corn Belt closed $1.82 lower with a weighted average of $52.03. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $36 to $40. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 higher with good demand for heavy offerings at $24 to $38. Barrow and gilt prices were $2 to $4 higher with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $30 to $38. Boars range from $15 to $20 and $4 to $10.
Pork values closed steady – up $.02 at $77.65. Butts and loins were sharply lower. Bellies closed lower. Ribs, hams, and picnics were also sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 495,000 head – up 23,000 on the week and down 1,000 on the year.