Live cattle, hog futures mixed at midweek
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed mixed and feeder cattle ended the day higher watching direct business develop. February lean hogs closed $.22 lower at $112.25 and April lean hogs closed $.17 lower at $117.47. January feeder cattle closed $.35 higher at $133.57 and March feeder cattle closed $.35 higher at $134.32.
A light to moderate direct cash cattle trade was reported on Wednesday. Deals in the South were at $108 to $111 live, mostly $110 to $111, which is $1 to $2 lower than last week’s weighted averages. There was also a light trade reported in parts of Nebraska at $172 dressed, that’s $1 to $2 lower than Tuesday’s decline, and $4 lower than last week’s weighted basis in Nebraska. Some asking prices remained firm around $113 to $114 live in the South, and $175 plus dressed in the North.
At the Ozarks Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to last week, steer calves under 750 pounds were mostly steady with spots of $4 higher. Heavier weight steers traded $2 to $4 lower. Heifer calves were steady to $3 lower. The USDA says demand was moderate on a very heavy supply. Receipts were down on the week, but up significantly on the year. Feeder supply included 60 percent steers and 52 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 600 to 647 pounds brought $140 to $153 and feeder steers 809 to 837 pounds brought $127.50 to $131.75. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 550 to 599 pounds brought $125 to $138 and feeder heifers 712 to 714 pounds brought $122 to $126.50.
Boxed beef closed higher on good demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $1.86 higher at $211 and Select closed $.97 higher at $199.06. The Choice/Select spread is $11.94. Estimated cattle slaughter is 118,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and down 6,000 on the year. Tuesday’s cattle slaughter was revised to 115,000 head.
Lean hog futures ended the day mixed on spread adjustments. February lean hogs closed $1.65 lower at $66.85 and April lean hogs closed $.57 lower at $72.95.
Cash hogs closed mixed with a moderate negotiated run. More than ample supplies of market-ready hogs are just one of the factors that’s pressuring prices. Processors are also pushing daily slaughter totals higher. While that’s preventing more hogs from backing up in the production system, it’s also adding more pork to an already saturated market. The industry continues to watch demand – both global and domestic. There has been some uncertainty and that is also limiting the ability of prices to move higher. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.52 lower with a base range of $44 to $57 with a weighted average of $54.48. The Iowa/Minnesota closed $.86 higher with a weighted average of $55.49 and the Western Corn Belt closed $.78 higher with a weighted average of $55.22. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $39. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 to $2 higher with good demand for heavy offerings at $29 to $42. Barrow and gilt prices were steady 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 lower – down $1.06 at $78.13. Bellies dropped $15.24 on Wednesday. Butts, loins, and ribs were lower to sharply lower. But picnics and hams closed sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 498,000 head – up 3,000 on the week and up 1,000 on the year.