Cattle, hog futures end the day mostly higher
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day mostly higher ahead of widespread direct cash business. February live cattle closed $.50 lower at $115.47 and April live cattle closed $.07 lower at $122.45. March feeder cattle closed $.60 lower at $138.52 and April feeder cattle closed $.42 lower at $141.82.
Another quiet day for direct cash cattle trade activity. Asking prices were at $115 plus live in the South and were around $180 dressed in the North. Bids didn’t surface on Wednesday. There were a handful of deals reported in the South at $113.75, from Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange. It’s likely significant trade volume will be delayed until the latter half of the week.
At the Interstate Regional Stockyards in Missouri, feeder steers were $2 to $7 higher compared to last week. Feeder heifers were steady to $5 higher. The USDA says demand was good and supply was moderate. Feeder supply included 59 percent steers and 66 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 603 to 626 pounds brought $148.75 to $155 and feeder steers 660 to 696 pounds brought $138.50 to $141.75. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 502 to 544 pounds brought $133 to $139 and feeder heifers 708 to 732 pounds brought $125 to $128.75.
Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $1.48 lower at $235.28 and Select closed $1.65 lower at $223.39. The Choice/Select spread closed at $11.89
Estimated cattle slaughter is 119,000 head – even on the week and down 5,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day mostly higher on spread trade, ahead of Thursday’s export sales numbers. February lean hogs closed $.82 higher at $72.37 and April lean hogs closed $1.12 higher at $79.20.
Cash hogs closed sharply higher with a solid negotiated run. Despite the heavy supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts, the industry remains optimistic that demand for US pork remains strong. Processors continue to push daily slaughter totals higher, which helps keep supply chains moving, but also adds more pork to the market. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed 3.50 higher with a base range of $51 to $68 with a weighted average of $61.94; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $2.62 higher at $64.51 and the Western Corn Belt closed $3.75 higher with a weighted average of $65.67. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $44 in Dorchester, Wisconsin and Garnavillo, Iowa and lower in Red Oak, Iowa at $37.
Pork values closed lower – down $.87 at $80.23. Butts and hams were sharply lower. Loins closed lower. Picnics were higher and bellies were sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 495,000 head – up 3,000 on the week and 5,000 on the year.