Monday 29 June 2009

US Cash Hogs Pre-Open: Mostly Flat With A Few Weak Tones

US Cash Hogs Pre-Open: Mostly Flat With A Few Weak Tones

By Curt Thacker


KANSAS CITY (Dow Jones)--Cash hog prices in the Midwest direct markets Monday are called mostly steady but there are a few weaker tones seen as well on expected slow demand.

Most of the pork plants will operate regular shifts Monday through Thursday but a few may reduce their slaughter rates by an hour or so due to sluggish pork movement, according to analysts and livestock dealers. That could result in daily kills of between 405,000 to 410,000 head. On Friday, the slaughter could be trimmed by nearly half as a result of several plants being closed and some others operating reduced hours in observance of the Independence Day holiday on Saturday.

Pork sales at the wholesale level this week could be listless since retailers may want to wait until after the holiday before ordering more product. Typically, retail sales of pork and beef tend to turn slower following Independence day during the heat of the summer. Cold cuts, hot dogs and some grilling cuts continue to sell well during July and early August.

Livestock dealers said average hog weights likely declined last week as a result of the heat and high humidity. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will report Wednesday the average weight of barrows and gilts in Iowa/southern Minnesota for last week.

USDA reported the pork cutout value Friday at $55.28, up $0.42 from Thursday.

The Dow Jones Newswires packer margin index for Friday was at minus $8.84 per head compared with minus $9.52 the previous day.

The terminal markets are called mostly steady in light tests with top prices on a live basis expected to be from $35.50 to $38.

The projected Chicago Mercantile Exchange two-day lean hog index for Thursday was 59.03 cents per pound, up 0.09 cent from the previous day.

-By Curt Thacker, Dow Jones Newswires; 913-322-5178;

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 29, 2009 08:32 ET (12:32 GMT)

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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