Hog, cattle futures higher at midweek
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day higher, supported by the continued run-up in boxed beef prices. August live cattle closed $.72 higher at $124.02 and October live cattle closed $.92 higher at $129.05. August feeder cattle closed $2.27 higher at $158.85 and September feeder cattle closed $2.42 higher at $163.35.
A light direct cash cattle trade took place on Wednesday. Deals in parts of the North were at $200 dressed, steady to $2 higher than the bulk of last week’s business. Live deals were at $127 in Nebraska. The bulk of the deals are marked for delayed delivery. Asking prices were at $123 to $124 live in the South and $202 plus dressed in the North. Look for more business to develop over the balance of the week.
At the Ozarks Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to last week, steer and heifer calves were steady to $3 higher and yearlings steers and heifers were $2 to $3 higher. The USDA says demand was good on a moderate supply. Pasture conditions have varied, from abnormally dry to good, and there are some concerns about lack of grass and water levels in creeks and ponds, resulting in calves being sold earlier than normal. Receipts were up on the week and down on the year. Feeder supply included 50% steers and 44% of the offering over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 500 to 542 pounds brought $169 to $180 and feeder steers 862 to 864 pounds brought $147 to $149.85. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 550 to 599 pounds brought $148 to $158 and feeder heifers 613 to 644 pounds brought $142 to $150.
Boxed beef closed sharply higher on good demand for solid offerings. Choice closed $2.02 higher at $340.08 and Select closed $3.03 higher at $309.80. The Choice/Select spread is $30.28. Estimated cattle slaughter 120,000 head – up 4,000 on the week and up 2,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day higher, supported by cash and wholesale business, and also contracts’ discount to cash. October lean hogs closed $1.20 higher at $89.10 and December lean hogs closed $1.05 higher at $82.12.
Cash hogs closed lower with a moderate negotiated run. Packers continue to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts. Strong demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has been largely supportive to prices. The industry does expect that to continue. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.81 lower with a base range of $92.50 to $106 and weighted average of $97.51; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $103.31; the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $102.67. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported at midday due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets were steady at $68. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were weak with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $69 to $87. Barrow and gilt prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $62 to $68. Boars ranged from $45 to $50 and $10 to $12.
Pork values closed higher – up $2.49 at $120.61. Hams and butts were sharply higher. Picnics were higher. Bellies, ribs, and loins were lower to sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter 478,000 head – up 4,000 on the week and up 1,000 on the year. Tuesday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 472,000 head.