Direct cash hogs close lower

Market News

Direct cash hogs close lower

Cattle futures saw strong gains Wednesday with support from cash trade. The complex was also being supported by the lower to sideways movement for corn and soybeans and strengthening boxed beef values. Cattle futures will likely continue to closely watch cash trade to close the year.

A few direct cash cattle bids are on the table in the North. Asking prices are around $224 in the North, $140 plus in the South. There was some light to moderate northern dressed trade Tuesday at $218 to $225, mostly $220 to $222, $3 to $5 higher. The South was at a near standstill.

There were almost 12,000 feeder cattle sold at auction in Missouri this past week. It was a light test but compared to the week prior, feeders sold with mostly steady undertones.

Medium and large #1 steers:
267 head, weighing 502 to 549 pounds, brought $160.00 to $199.00.
455 head, weighing 600 to 647 pounds, brought $140.00 to $174.50.
237 head, averaging 820 pounds, brought $154.50 to $165.75.

Medium and large #1 heifers:
303 head, weighing 500 to 549 pounds, brought $140.00 to $165.00.
352 head, weighing 651 to 695 pounds, brought $135.00 to $160.50.
57 head, averaging 888 pounds, brought $133.00 to $145.00.

Boxed beef closed higher. Choice boxes up $1.05 at $265.71 and select boxes up $1.00 at $257.09.

Wednesday’s estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000, a thousand fewer than last week, and 2,000 more than a year ago.

Hog futures closed higher with support from the cash market, even as pork cutout values drew back. Packers might be in a push to make purchases this week ahead of Prop 12’s start on January 1st, which is bullish for cash trade but could drive down futures to start the new year. Production concerns with COVID 19 will be adding volatility, especially in nearby contracts. 

Direct cash hogs fell Wednesday afternoon along with the wholesale pork cutout price. There’s concern about volatility and whether hog slaughter can be maintained through COVID-related workforce disruptions.

National Direct cash hogs are $.52 lower, ranging from $58.00 to $67.25, with a weighted average of $61.25. Iowa/Minnesota Direct hogs are at a weighted average of $61.59; Western Cornbelt Direct hogs are at a weighted average of $61.55.

The pork carcass cutout is $2.60 lower at $84.29. Loins are $16.00 lower at $68.71, while hams are $5.50 higher at $65.76.

Estimated hog slaughter is 479,000, 15,000 more than a week ago, and 13,000 more than a year ago.