Cash hog prices in the Midwest Tuesday are expected to be mostly steady to firm on buying interest from some packers for this delivery this week.
Tighter supplies of slaughter-ready hogs and reluctance among some producers to sell with futures prices rising Monday and in overnight trading may spark some additional strength in cash prices Tuesday, said analysts and livestock dealers.
Early projections for the weekend slaughter are very light. Some dealers and brokers predict that none of the larger plants will operate Saturday while others said one or two plants may possibly work. A decision on whether to operate must be made between now and Wednesday in order for the buyers to have time to purchase the animals needed, they said.
The pork produced this week will be used on orders for Independence Day holiday promotions. Once packers have enough hogs for these orders, however, buying interest could subside. Livestock dealers and market managers predict that cash prices could be steady to firm through Wednesday or Thursday.
Market participants will also keep an eye on hog health concerns in Canada after reports that a pork plant in Red Deer, Alberta, was closed to hog shipments Monday. The closure was due to "an animal health situation," according to local news reports in Canada. A report from 660 News' web site said the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is conducting tests and hopes to receive results soon.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported the pork cutout on Monday up $0.49 at $84.23.
The Dow Jones Newswires' packer margin index for Monday was at plus $6.96 per head compared with plus $7.82 the previous day. The index for vertically integrated plants was at plus $33.13.
The terminal markets are called steady to firm with top prices expected to be from $52 to $57 on a live basis.
The projected Chicago Mercantile Exchange two-day lean hog index for Friday was 79.82 cents per pound, up 0.72 cent from the previous day.