Hog futures supported by commercial buying
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day higher, and feeders were lower watching corn and direct markets develop. April live cattle closed $.15 higher at $146.02 and June live cattle closed $.40 higher at $141.90. March feeder cattle closed $1.20 lower at $164.22 and April feeder cattle closed $1.72 lower at $169.12.
Cattle country was quiet on Tuesday with very little direct cash cattle trade activity. Packer inquiry was limited and bids failed to surface. Asking prices were around $144 to $145 live in the South, while the North was quiet. It’s likely significant trade volume will be delayed until midweek or later.
At the Tri-State Livestock Auction in Nebraska, compared to last week steers were steady and heifers were steady to $6 higher. The USDA says demand was good. Receipts were down on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 43% steers and 85% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 706 to 746 pounds brought $162.50 to $169.50 and feeder steers 883 to 894 pounds brought $158.25 to $165.60. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 768 to 798 pounds brought $141 to $151 and feeder heifers 950 pounds brought $146.35.
Boxed beef closed mixed with light to moderate demand for moderate offerings. Choice is $2.45 lower at $261.64 and Select closed $1.80 higher at $263.64. The Choice/Select spread is $2. Estimated cattle slaughter is 123,000 head – even on the week and the year.
Lean hog futures were supported by commercial buying and higher pork values during the session. April lean hogs closed $2.67 higher at $112.07 and May lean hogs closed $2.30 higher at $115.65.
Cash hogs ended the day sharply higher with a moderate negotiated run. Demand for US pork has been strong on the global market and domestically and that has helped provide some price support recently. However, there are long-term demand concerns which has been adding volatility in the market. Processors were aggressive in their procurement efforts on Tuesday and bid up to move their desired numbers. And the industry continues to monitor the availability of market-ready hogs. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $6.77 higher with a base range of $83 to $100 and a weighted average of $89.33. The Iowa/Minnesota had no comparison but a weighted average of $98.33 and the Western Corn Belt also had no comparison but a weighted average of $97.33. Prices at the Eastern Corn Belt were not reported due to confidentiality.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $60. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $2 higher with moderate demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $59 to $71. Barrows and gilts were $2 higher with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $57 to $63. Boars ranged from $27 to $32 and $13 to $17.
Pork values closed lower – down $1.33 at $108.76. Bellies, picnics, butts, and loins were all lower. Hams and ribs were higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 479,000 head, up 1,000 on the week and down 20,000 on the year.