Hog futures supported by demand expectations
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle closed mostly higher and feeders were up, watching corn and the direct markets. April live cattle closed $.22 lower at $146.17 and June live cattle closed $.15 higher at $141.25. March feeder cattle closed $1.85 higher at $166.87 and April feeders closed $1.50 higher at $171.77.
Another sluggish day for direct cash cattle trade activity. Bids have been elusive. There were some asking prices surfacing around $142 to $143 live in the South, while the North has been quiet. Look for significant trade volume to pick up as the week progresses.
At the Sioux Falls Regional Cattle Auction in South Dakota, compared to last week, feeder steers were steady to $4 higher, however, there were several weight classes that were $4 to $9 higher. Feeder heifers were steady to $4 lower, but there were some weight classes that were $2 to $4 higher. The USDA says demand for the large offering of cattle was good and black-hided cattle were met with the highest demand. There were several large lots sold. Receipts were up on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 57% steers and 80% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 655 to 698 pounds brought $174.50 to $187.50 and feeder steers 702 to 748 pounds brought $163.50 to $176.50. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 659 to 698 pounds brought $154 to $165 and feeder heifers 703 to 740 pounds brought $151.50 to $163.
Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for solid offerings. Choice closed $1.50 lower at $277.46 and Select closed $1.20 lower at $272.84. The Choice/Select spread is $3.62. Estimated cattle slaughter is 122,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and up 7,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures closed higher, supported by packer demand expectations and the higher midday pork. April lean hogs closed $2.52 higher at $103.80 and May lean hogs closed $2.67 higher at $107.50.
Cash hogs closed sharply higher with a moderate negotiated run. Processors aggressively bid up to move their desired numbers. The industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Demand for US pork has been strong on the global market and domestically. That is expected to continue and has been helping provide some price support. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $7.99 higher with a base range of $71 to $93 and a weighted average of $82.51; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $3.54 higher with a weighted average of $90.64; the Western Corn Belt closed $3.26 higher with a weighted average of $90.36. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $57. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $1 higher with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $46 to $57. Barrows and gilts were $2 to $4 higher with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $50 to $58. Boars ranged from $25 to $30 and $13 to $17.
Pork values closed lower – down $.90 at $97.29. Butts and loins were sharply lower. Picnics were lower. Hams, ribs, and bellies were higher to sharply higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 472,000 head – down 8,000 on the week and down 18,000 on the year.