Lean hog and live cattle futures continue to chase higher prices as the markets are being fueled with exceptional demand; as the days grow longer with grilling season in full swing, more and more folks are outside to enjoy these delicious proteins. Thursday's export report came and passed without fazing the market much. May corn is up 19 1/4 cents per bushel and May soybean meal is down $1.50. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 8.86 points and NASDAQ is up 127.76 points.
We knew the market had more to give and as of Thursday morning packers have bought a light amount in Nebraska for $123 live and $196 dressed, which is $4.00 higher live and $6.00 higher dressed. The momentum in the cash cattle market continues to grow and thrive. Looking at boxed beef prices Thursday morning, the rally in the cash market needs to continue as demand is excellent. More cattle should trade before the end of the week and it is likely packers will have to give a little more to secure these cattle. April live cattle are up $1.22 at $124.37, June live cattle are up $0.15 at $125.40 and August live cattle are up $0.15 at $124.27. Thankfully, the board is continuing to support the upward progression and, oddly enough, June is still trading higher than the spot April contract. Looking to the months ahead, the market could continue to be met with stronger prices as market=ready supplies are expected to grow slim.
Weekly beef net sales of 18,200 metric tons (mt) reported for 2021 were down 3% from the previous week and 14% from the prior 4-week average. The three largest buyers were for South Korea (9,100 mt), Japan (4,200 mt) and China (1,900 mt).
Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $3.45 ($269.76) and select up $8.12 ($263.31) with a movement of 51 loads (31.82 loads of choice, 4.96 loads of select, 6.65 loads of trim and 7.56 loads of ground beef).
Feeder cattle futures are still anxious to trade higher and are being positively charged by the action developing throughout the cash cattle market. But the healthy rally in Thursday morning's corn market has sent the feeder contracts slightly lower. April feeders are down $0.30 at $147.32, May feeders are down $0.80 at $151.87 and August feeders are down $0.05 at $161.82. With cost of gains being a concern throughout the entire nation, feedlots are having to get creative with their feed rations and are looking for alternatives to use besides having to feed corn.
Lean hog futures weren't disappointed by Thursday's softer export report as the market was blown away last week by a marketing-year high which is always hard to follow. With supplies continuing to tighten and with demand surpassing anyone's wildest belief, the market keeps trending higher to meet consumer needs. April lean hogs are up $0.37 at $103.25, June lean hogs are up $0.57 at $108.47 and July lean hogs are up $0.47 at $106.85.
Pork weekly net sales of 33,400 mt reported for 2021 were down 45% from the previous week and 22% from the prior 4-week average. The three largest buyers were Mexico (23,000 mt), Japan (3,400 mt) and Australia (1,600 mt).
The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 4/7/2021 is up $0.47 at $100.94, and the actual index for 4/6/2021 is up $0.13 at $100.47. Hog prices are higher on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.07 with a weighted average of $98.82, ranging from $92.00 to $102.00 on 7,677 head and a five-day rolling average of $98.38. Pork cutouts total 170.52 loads with 145.13 loads of pork cuts and 25.40 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $1.17, $111.86.