Live cattle and hog futures end the day mostly higher
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed mostly higher ahead of widespread direct cash business and feeder cattle closed higher on the day’s mostly lower move in corn. February lean hogs closed $.02 lower at $114.97 and April live cattle closed $.22 higher at $119.50. January feeder cattle closed $.92 higher at $136.70 and March feeder cattle closed $1 higher at $137.57.
A light to moderate direct cash cattle trade developed on Thursday. Deals in the South were at $112 live, that’s generally steady with the bulk of last week’s business. Dressed business in Nebraska and Iowa had a full range of $174 to $180, mostly $176 to $177, generally steady to $1 higher than last week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. Asking prices held firm around $114 to $115 live in the South and $180 dressed in the North.
At the Ozarks Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to three weeks ago, feeder steers traded steady to $4 higher while feeder heifers were unevenly steady, from $2 lower to $2 higher. The USDA says demand was good on a heavy supply and the market was active. Receipts were up on the year. Feeder supply was 58 percent steers and 52 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 553 to 586 pounds brought $152 to $165.50 and feeder steers 600 to 647 pounds brought $139 to $150.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 505 to 545 pounds brought $130 to $140 and feeder heifers 551 to 592 pounds brought $126 to $139.
Boxed beef closed firm with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings. Choice is $.54 higher at $205.81 and Select closed $.51 higher at $195.59. The Choice/Select spread is $9.22.
Estimated cattle slaughter is 119,000 head – up 23,000 on the week and down 5,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day mostly higher on spread trade and technical buying. February lean hogs closed $.65 lower at $69.12 and April lean hogs closed $.05 higher at $73.05.
Cash hogs closed mixed with a moderate negotiated run. Packers bid up to move their desired numbers on Thursday. The availability of market-ready barrows and gilts is more than ample and daily slaughter totals continue to push higher. While that’s helping to keep the supply chain moving and prevents more hogs from backing up in the production system, it’s also adding more pork to an already saturated market at a time when demand continues to face uncertainty. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.88 higher with a base range of $51 to $57.40 and a weighted average of $55.23. The Iowa/Minnesota closed $.18 lower with a weighted average of $51.82; the Western Corn Belt closed $.11 lower with a weighted average of $51.92. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady and $36 and $40. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were firm with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $24 to $38. Barrow and gilt prices were $1 higher with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $31 to $39. Boars ranged from $15 to $20 and $4 to $10.
Pork values closed sharply higher – up $2.17 at $79.82. Bellies closed more than $7 higher. Picnics and loins were also sharply higher. Hams were steady. Butts and ribs were lower.
Estimated hog slaughter is 497,000 head – up 72,000 on the week and down 2,000 on the year.