Hog futures higher on demand optimism

Market News

Hog futures higher on demand optimism

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle closed lower ahead of widespread direct business.  Feeder cattle had additional pressure from the day’s higher move in corn.  October live cattle closed $.35 lower at $108.55 and December live cattle closed $.77 lower at $112.35.  October feeder cattle closed $1.57 lower at $141.35 and November feeder cattle closed $1.72 lower at $142.05. 

A light direct cash cattle trade developed before the end of the day Wednesday.  Dressed deals were reported in the North at $167, $2 higher than last week’s weighted averages basis in Nebraska, and live deals in western Nebraska were reported at $107, that’s $2 higher than last week’s weighted averages.  Asking prices in the South are at $109 live.  It’s likely significant trade volume will be delayed until sometime Thursday or Friday. 

At the Russell Livestock Feeder Cattle Auction in Iowa, compared to two weeks ago, steers under 500 pounds were $5 to $9 lower, while steers 500 to 700 pounds were $5 to $7 higher.  Steers over 750 pounds were steady to $6 lower.  Heifers 450 to 750 pounds were steady to $3.50 lower and heifers 600 to 750 pounds were $1.50 lower to $7 higher.  The USDA says demand was good for the heavy offerings.  Receipts were down from two weeks ago, but up on the year.  Feeder supply included 68 percent steers and 68 percent of the offering was over 600 pounds.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 753 to 799 pounds brought $142.50 to $154.25 and feeder steers 800 to 835 pounds brought $137.50 to $147.50.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 658 to 691 pounds brought $133.75 to $142.50 and feeder heifers 708 pounds brought $144.50. 

Boxed beef closed firm on moderate demand for moderate offerings.  Choice closed up $.58 at $217.74 and Select closed $.55 higher at $207.54.  The Choice/Select spread is $10.20. 

Estimated cattle slaughter is 120,000 head – even on the week and up 1,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed higher as the industry is optimistic demand for US pork will see a big boost on the global market as Germany as confirmed more cases of African swine fever in its wild boar population.  October lean hogs closed $.42 higher at $72.80 and December lean hogs closed $1.12 higher at $63.10. 

Cash hogs closed firm with solid negotiated numbers.  Packers bid up in order to move their desired numbers.  The industry is optimistic demand for US pork will continue to see a boost as Germany continues to face trade restrictions following the identification of African swine fever in additional wild boars.  There’s been some price support lately, but that’s on thin ice as the supplies of market-ready barrows and gilts are more than ample and processors have been pushing daily slaughter totals higher, adding more pork to the market.  Should any disruption to demand occur, it could send pork prices tumbling.  Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.55 higher with a base range of $60 to $67.25 for a weighted average of $64.47; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.56 higher for a weighted average of $65.11; the Western Corn Belt closed $.43 higher for a weighted average of $64.98; the Eastern Corn Belt had no comparison but a weighted average of $63.84. 

Butcher hogs at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $40. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were firm with good demand for heavy offerings at $14 to $25.  Barrow and gilt prices were weak with good demand for moderate to heavy offerings at $40 to $45.  Boars ranged from $1 to $3. 

Pork values closed weak – down $.38 at $91.37.  Bellies and hams were lower.  Ribs, loins, butts, and picnics were all higher. Estimated hog slaughter is 473,000 head – down 14,000 on the week and the year.