A little tighter supply and continued strong packer profit margins pushed U.S. hog prices higher.
Pork wholesale values were also up.
The U.S. weekly slaughter dipped a little.
Merchants believe cash and wholesale pork prices are about to top out as plants prepare to close over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
They also note that ham values could erode after grocers stock up for winter holiday demand.
The U.S. national live price average for barrows and gilts was US$40.09 per hundredweight Dec. 9, up from $35.60 Dec. 2.
U.S. hogs averaged $52.66 on a carcass basis Dec. 9, up from $47.13 Dec. 2.
The U.S. pork cutout was $75.81 per cwt. Dec. 9, up from $73.25 Dec. 2.
The estimated U.S. weekly slaughter for the week to Dec. 9 was 2.443 million, down from 2.535 million the previous week.
Slaughter was 2.430 million last year at the same time.
In Canada, the Dec. 10 Signature Five price was C$125.11 per 100 kilograms, up from $115.86 the previous week.
The price was $56.75 on a per hundredweight basis, up from $52.55 the previous week.
The Canadian Bison Association said Grade A bulls in the desirable weight range sold at prices up to C$6-$6.25 per pound hot hanging weight.
U.S. buyers are offering US$4.60 with returns dependent on exchange rates, quality and export costs.
Grade A heifers sold up to C$5.75-$6. U.S. buyers are offering US$4.40.
Animals outside the desirable buyer specifications may be discounted.
Lambs steady to higher
Beaver Hill Auction in Tofield, Alta., reported that 926 sheep and 298 goats sold Dec. 5.
Wool lambs lighter than 54 lb. were $189-$230 per cwt., 55-69 lb. were $192-$220, 70-85 lb. were $186-$211, 86-105 lb. were $180-$199 and 106 lb. and heavier were $168-$185.
Wool rams were $84-$117 per cwt. Cull ewes were $70-$155.
Hair lambs lighter than 54 lb. were $180-$220 per cwt., 55-69 lb. were $186-$210, 70-85 lb. were $180-$195, 86-105 lb. were $180-$190 and 106 lb. and heavier were $165-$182.
Hair rams were $80-$131 per cwt. Cull ewes were $85-$105.
Ontario Stockyards Inc. reported that 1,113 sheep and lambs and 107 goats traded Dec. 5.
Light weight lambs and good sheep sold higher. All other sheep, lambs sold steady. Goats were strong.