Hog futures mostly lower on profit-taking
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day mixed and feeder cattle closed mostly higher, both watching corn and direct cash business develop. June live cattle closed $.15 higher at $116.90 and August live cattle closed $.40 higher at $120.12. May feeder cattle closed $.62 lower at $136.57 and August feeder cattle closed $.95 higher at $152.87.
Another round of light direct cash cattle trade took place on Wednesday. Live deals in parts of Kansas were at $119, which’s fully steady with last week’s weighted averages. Northern dressed business was at $190 to $191, fully steady with the previous week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. Asking prices are at $120 to $121 live in the South and $192 dressed in the North. Today’s Fed Cattle Exchange had an offering of 2,792 head of which just 336 head sold from $119 to $119.75.
At the Kingsville Livestock Auction in Missouri, compared to last week steers were $3 to $6 higher and heifers were steady to $5 higher with the gain on those under 600 pounds. The USDA says demand was good for a moderate supply. The quality of calves was very good which helped push the market along with the drop in corn prices late last week. Receipts were down on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 60 percent steers and 42 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 550 to 594 pounds brought $160.75 to $178.75 and feeder steers 708 to 723 pounds brought $142.50 to $149. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 560 to 597 pounds brought $140 to $147.50 and feeder heifers 720 pounds brought $133.
Boxed beef closed firm to higher on moderate demand for moderate offerings. Choice closed $.04 higher at $323.38 and Select closed $.64 higher at $299.69. The Choice/Select spread is $23.31. Estimated cattle slaughter is 118,000 head – even on the week and up 14,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day mostly lower on profit-taking, shrugging off the sharply higher cash and higher wholesale values during the session. June lean hogs closed $.30 higher at $110.95 and July lean hogs closed $.10 lower at $111.40.
Cash hogs closed lower with a moderate negotiated run. Packers continue to keep a close eye on the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts. Demand for US pork globally and domestically has been strong and that has been largely supportive to prices. The industry expects that to continue. Hog weights this week dipped slightly to 283.7 pounds, 0.2 pounds below last week, however, that’s nearly 10.5 pounds below last year’s weights. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $1.16 lower with a base range of $101.68 to $117 and a weighted average of $109.85; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.10 lower with a weighted average of $116.48; the Western Corn Belt closed $.59 lower with a weighted average of $116.02. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash market are steady at $77 and higher in Red Oak, Iowa at $80. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were weak with moderate demand for heavy offerings at $46 to $58. Barrow and gilt prices were steady with good demand for moderate offerings at $75 to $78. Boars ranged from $40 to $45 and $15 to $20.
Pork values closed higher – up $1.95 at $118.01. Butts, loins, hams, and picnics were all higher to sharply higher. Bellies were lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 477,000 head – up 3,000 on the week and up 77,000 on the year. Tuesday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 466,000 head.