A mixed day for cattle, hog futures
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly higher, and feeders were mixed watching direct business develop. December live cattle closed $.37 higher at $186.02, and February lives closed $.07 higher at $190.37. November feeder cattle closed $.07 higher at $250.42 and January feeders closed $.22 lower at $254.05.
There was another round of light trade reported on Wednesday. Dressed deals in the North were marked at $288 to $291, mostly $290, steady to $1 higher than the previous week’s weighted average basis. Southern live deals were marked at mostly $182, fully steady with Tuesday business but $1 lower than the prior week’s weighted averages.
At the Callaway Livestock Center in Missouri, there was a light offering of 4-weight steers that were steady. A much lighter offering of 500-to-600-pound steers was steady to $5 lower. Steers over 650 pounds were not well tested, but several pot loads of top-quality yearlings 787 to 903 pounds sold with a firm undertone. Feeder heifers were on a light test with heifers under 550 pounds selling weak to lower. A nice offering of heifers 550 to 600 pounds sold with a firm to higher undertone. The calf offering was much lighter this week and was not as attractive as previous weeks. Demand was good for yearling steers and heifers weighing 550 to 600 pounds that were long-weaned. All sold on an active market. Receipts were up on the week and down on the year. Feeder supply included 51% steers and 52% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 780 to 787 pounds brought $255 to $258.75 and feeder steers 906 pounds brought $247.10. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 572 to 588 pounds brought $276 to $280.50 and feeder heifers 803 pounds brought $240.50.
Boxed beef closed lower on light demand for heavy offerings. Choice is $3.31 lower at $296.76 and Select closed $.72 lower at $274.87. The Choice/Select spread is $21.89. Estimated cattle slaughter was 125,000 head, down 1,000 on the week and down 3,000 on the year. Tuesday’s cattle slaughter was revised to 125,000 head.
Lean hog futures were mixed on bull spreading, keeping an eye on demand signals. December lean hogs closed $.10 higher at $69.17 and February lean hogs closed $.37 higher at $73.10.
Cash hogs closed higher with a moderate negotiated run. Processors picked up their procurement efforts on Wednesday but still didn’t move big numbers. The ample supplies of market-ready hogs in the near term aren’t putting packers in a position to change their buying habits. Demand for US pork on the global market has been relatively strong and that helps provide at least some price support, but domestic demand could face some pressure as the grilling season comes to an end. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.53 higher with a base range of $65 to $74.50 and a weighted average of $71.77; the Iowa/Minnesota closed $.39 higher with a weighted average of $72.24; the Western Corn Belt closed $.28 higher with a weighted average of $71.71; the Eastern Corn Belt closed $2.51 higher with a weighted average of $72.04.
Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are steady at $55. At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $21 to $32. Barrows and gilts were steady with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $39 to $49. Boars ranged from $20 to $25 and $5 to $10.
Pork values closed higher – up $.03 at $94.64. Ribs and bellies were sharply higher. Butts were higher. Picnics, loins, and hams were all lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 481,000 head – down 5,000 on the week and down 7,000 on the year.