Hog futures supported by strong export sales

Market News

Hog futures supported by strong export sales

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle closed mostly higher, with boxed beef higher at midday.  February live cattle closed $.47 higher at $137.05 and April live cattle closed $.02 higher at $140.95.  January feeder cattle closed $.85 lower at $162.57 and March feeder cattle closed $.15 lower at $164.32. 

It was a relatively quiet Thursday for direct cash cattle trade activity.  With a handful of deals reported anywhere from $134 to $138, mostly $136 to $138, $3 to $4 lower than last week’s weighted averages.    With the light trade volumes so far this week, more business is expected before the end of the day Friday.  So far this week, Southern live deals have had a range of $134 to $138, mostly $137 to $138, which is $2 to $3 lower than last week’s weighted averages.  Northern dressed trade has had a range of $216 to $220, mostly $218, $2 lower than the previous week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. 

At the Huss Livestock Market in Nebraska, compared to last week steers under 700 pounds sold steady to $5 lower and steers over 700 pounds were $1 to $4 higher.  Heifers under 650 pounds were $1 to $4 higher, over 650 pounds were $1 to $3 lower.  The USDA says demand was moderate to good.  Receipts were upon the week, but down on the year.  Feeder supply included 62% steers and 71% of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 652 to 699 pounds brought $167.50 to $177.75 and feeder steers 754 to 788 pounds brought $163 to $174.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 653 to 687 pounds brought $151.50 to $164.25 and feeder heifers 702 to 747 pounds brought $150.50 to $160. 

Boxed beef closed higher with good demand for strong offerings.  Choice closed $2.71 higher at $262.97 and Select closed $.69 higher at $248.14.  The Choice/Select spread is $14.83.  Estimated cattle slaughter is 122,000 head – even on the week and up 9,000 on the year. Wednesday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 113,000 head.  

Lean hog futures closed higher, supported by cash and wholesale business, along with the weekly export sales total.  February lean hogs closed $1.02 higher at $80.35 and April lean hogs closed $.67 higher at $84.87. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a fairly light negotiated run. Processors backed off a little bit after bidding up most of this week to move their desired numbers, likely ahead of next week’s holiday-shortened week.  The industry is also looking ahead to next week’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report from the USDA.  Demand for US pork on the global market has been strong, and while that is expected to continue, some long-term demand concerns persist, which adds some pressure to the market. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.98 lower with a base range of $56 to $66 and a weighted average of $60.09; the Iowa/Minnesota had a weighted average of $63.13; the Western Corn Belt both had a weighted average of $63.22.  Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady in Dorchester, Wisconsin at $50 and in Red Oak, Iowa at $42. 

Pork values closed higher – up $3.66 at $91.49.  Hams, picnics, and butts were sharply higher.  Loins and ribs were higher.  Bellies were sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 463,000 head – down 10,000 on the week and down 6,000 on the year.  Wednesday’s hog slaughter has been revised to 437,000 head. 

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