Hog futures supported by sharply higher cash business
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were mixed watching direct business develop. February live cattle closed $.57 lower at $137.25 and April live cattle closed $.72 lower at $141.95. March feeder cattle closed $.17 lower at $166.17 and April feeder cattle were unchanged at $169.77.
It was an active Wednesday for direct cash cattle trade. Live deals were at mostly $138, those were steady to sightly higher than last week’s business. Dressed deals are at $220 in the North, steady to $1 lower than last week’s weighted averages basis in Nebraska. Asking prices are firm at $140 live in the South and $222 plus dressed in the North. Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange had an offering of 2,059 head, of which just 239 head sold at $138.
At the Interstate Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to the most recent sale, feeder steers and heifers under 500 pounds were steady while those over 500 pounds were $2 to $7 higher. The USDA says demand was good for the moderate supply. Despite sharply lower board prices and higher corn trade early this week, demand for feeders was strong. Receipts were down from the most recent sale and up on the year. Feeder supply included 45% steers and 50% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 555 to 594 pounds brought $165.50 to $190 and feeder steers 601 to 642 pounds brought $160 to $173.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 507 to 549 pounds brought $152.50 to $158.50 and feeder heifers 615 to 648 pounds brought $147.50 to $156.
Boxed beef closed modestly higher on solid demand for heavy offerings. Choice closed $.11 higher at $266.93 and Select closed $.38 higher at $259.61. The Choice/Select spread is $7.32. Estimated cattle slaughter is 116,000 head – down 4,000 on the week and down 2,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures ended the day higher, supported by sharply higher cash and wholesale values during the session. February lean hogs closed $2.12 higher at $82.27 and April lean hogs closed $1.67 higher at $88.67.
Cash hogs closed sharply higher with a big negotiated run. Processors were aggressive in their procurement efforts. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready barrows and gilts. Demand for US pork on the global market has been strong, which is expected to continue in the near term, however, there are some long-term demand concerns which has put some pressure on prices recently. Hog weights this week increased to 291.4 pounds, up from 290.8 pounds the previous week, but down from 291.6 pounds a year ago. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $4.73 higher with a base range of $59 to $72 and a weighted average of $67.82; the Iowa/Minnesota closed with a weighted average of $69.43; the Western Corn Belt had a weighted average of $69.31. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $48.
Pork values closed higher – up $.45 at $85.92. Picnics and bellies were sharply higher. Ribs were higher. Butts, hams, and loins were lower to sharply lower. Estimated hog slaughter is 470,000 head – down 4,000 on the week and down 22,000 on the year. Tuesday’s hog slaughter was revised to 467,000 head.