Hog futures end the week mostly higher
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed higher and feeder cattle were mostly higher on end of the week technical buying. April live cattle closed $.47 higher at $119.02 and June live cattle closed $1.02 higher at $118. March feeder cattle closed $.50 lower at $134.60 and April feeder cattle closed $.05 higher at $139.02.
A quiet end to the week for direct cash cattle trade activity. There was a bit of a standoff this week as packers haven’t been overly aggressive in their procurement efforts and sellers haven’t been willing to take lower prices. Live deals this week were between $112 to $114, steady to $2 lower than the previous week’s business. Dressed business ranged from $178 to $180, steady to $2 lower than the prior week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.
At the Ogallala Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared to last week steers were $1 to $10 lower and heifers were $1 to $4 lower. The USDA says demand was good to moderate. Receipts were down slightly on the week and up on the year. Feeder supply included 60 percent steers 77 percent of the offering as over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers was 604 to 648 pounds brought $155 to $165.50 and feeder steers 805 to 845 pounds brought $129 to $130.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 600 to 642 pounds brought $135 to $141 and feeder heifers 651 to 687 pounds brought $128 to $138.25.
In South Dakota this past week, alfalfa was mostly steady and other classes were not well compared. There was good demand for dairy quality hay with the best demand coming from out of state dairies. There was very light demand for straw as the winter has been very mild with little snow. Large volumes of hay continue to be offered in the regional hay auctions. Alfalfa, supreme large squares brought $220. Alfalfa, premium large squares brought $185 to $225. Alfalfa premium large squares brought $130. Alfalfa good large rounds brought $140 to $175. Alfalfa/grass mix, premium large rounds brought $140.
Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for moderate offerings. Choice is $2.55 lower at $231.33 and Select closed $.83 lower at $220.85. The Choice/Select spread is $10.48. Estimated cattle slaughter is 109,000 head – even on the week and down 10,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 71,000 head – up 7,000 on the week and up 34,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day mostly higher, supported by cash business during the session and wholesale values, with a little spread trade mixed in. April lean hogs closed $.12 lower at $87.17 and May lean hogs closed $.07 higher at $89.47.
Cash hogs closed lower with a moderate negotiated run. Prices took a breath at the end of the week. The recent strength in demand for US pork on both the global market and domestically has been very supportive to prices. The industry is optimistic that will continue. However, supplies are heavy. The availability of market-ready hogs is more than ample and daily slaughter totals continue at near-record levels. Should any sort of disruption to demand, or the supply chain occur, it would likely send prices tumbling. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $3.64 lower with a base range of $74 to $90 for a weighted average of $81.04; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $2.63 lower with a weighted average of $84.27; the Western Corn Belt closed $3.04 lower with a weighted average of $83.79. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
According to the USDA’s National Feeder Pig report, early-weaned pigs were $7 per head lower and all feeder pigs were $3 per head higher. Demand was moderate for moderate offerings and receipts included 48 percent formulated prices. The total composite cash range is $43 to $68 with a weighted average of $55.14. Total composite formula range was $47 to $67.70 with a weighted average of $54.25. The weighted average for early-weaned pig of $54.66 and the weighted average for all feeder pigs was $90.21.
At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were firm with very good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $63 to $76. Barrows and gilts were $1 to $2 higher with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $55 to $59. Boars ranged from $25 to $30 and $12 to $15. Pork values closed $1.62 higher at $95.14. Bellies were sharply higher. Ribs, butts, and loins were all higher. Hams and picnics were lower.
Estimated hog slaughter is 483,000 head – that’s down 5,000 on the week and down 11,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 98,000 head – that’s down 76,000 on the week and down 107,000 on the year.