Cattle, hog futures head into Friday mostly lower
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were mostly lower watching corn and cash business develop. August live cattle closed $1.15 lower at $123.27 and October live cattle closed $.70 lower at $129.60. August feeder cattle closed $.15 higher at $159.45 and September feeder cattle closed $.70 lower at $164.45.
A light direct cash cattle trade took place on Thursday. Deals in the South were at $123 live, about $1 higher than last week’s weighted and in the North at $125 live. Dressed deals in Nebraska were at $202, roughly $1 higher than last week’s weighted average basis. Look for business to wrap up sometime on Friday.
At the Sheridan Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared to two weeks ago prices for all cattle were mostly higher. The USDA says demand was good and the quality of yearling steers and heifers, along with a few fall calves were good. Feeder supply included 78% steers and 99% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 901 to 947 pounds brought $150.50 to $163.75 and feeder steers 951 to 991 pounds brought $155.25 to $160.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 813 to 846 pounds brought $145.50 to $156.50 and feeder heifers 917 to 928 pounds brought $149 to $150.10.
Boxed beef closed sharply higher on good demand for light offerings. Choice closed $.38 higher at $347.27 and Select closed $3.90 higher at $319.59. The Choice/Select spread is $27.68. Estimated cattle slaughter is 114,000 head – down 5,000 on the week and down 6,000 on the year. Wednesday’s cattle slaughter has been revised to 113,000 head.
Lean hog futures ended the day mostly lower pressured by the recently lower cash business and demand uncertainty. October lean hogs closed $.85 lower at $87.90 and December lean hogs closed $.55 lower at $81.40.
Cash hogs closed lower with a fairly light negotiated run. Processors continue to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts. The strong demand for US pork on the global market and domestically has provided a lot of price support, and the industry expects that to continue. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $2.24 lower with a base range of $91 to $101 and a weighted average of $93.86; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $97.88; the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $98.09. The Eastern Corn Belt was not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $70. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 lower with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $70 to $85. Barrow and gilt prices were weak with moderate to good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $59 to $66. Boars ranged from $45 to $50 and $10 to $12.
Pork values closed sharply higher – up $6.16 higher at $116.40. Hams closed more than $20 higher. Loins were also sharply higher. Ribs were higher. Bellies, picnics, and butts were weak to lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 476,000 head – up 3,000 on the week and up 2,000 on the year.