Chicago hog futures reached a 3 1/2 month high Dec. 16, supported by stronger pork prices as retailers finished buying Christmas hams.
Producers and the rest of the industry avoided the feared Dec-ember price collapse by marketing aggressively through the fall. U.S. slaughter hit record highs above 2.5 million a week, and meat companies increased their export pace.
The U.S. national live price average for barrows and gilts was US$41.30 per cwt. Dec. 16, up from $40.09 Dec. 9.
U.S. hogs averaged $52.95 on a carcass basis Dec. 16, up slightly from $52.66 Dec. 9.
The U.S. pork cutout was $77.85 per cwt. Dec. 16, up from $75.81 Dec. 9.
The estimated U.S. weekly slaughter for the week to Dec. 16 was 2.544 million, up from 2.433 million the previous week.
Slaughter was 2.499 million last year at the same time.
The weaker loonie supported prices in Canada.
The Dec. 17 Signature Five price was C$132.99 per 100 kilograms, up from $125.11 the previous week.
The price was $60.32 on a per hundredweight basis, up from $56.75 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.
Beaver Hill Auction in Tofield, Alta., reported that 957 sheep and 51 goats sold Dec. 12.
Wool lambs lighter than 54 lb. were $220-$250 per cwt., 55-69 lb. were $196-$240, 70-85 lb. were $186-$216, 86-105 lb. were $180-$197 and 106 lb. and heavier were $170-$185.
Wool rams were $80-$107 per cwt. Cull ewes were $80-$125.
Hair lambs lighter than 54 lb. were $220-$230 per cwt., 55-69 lb. were $201-$245, 70-85 lb. were $185-$216, 86-105 lb. were $186-$194 and 106 lb. and heavier were $170-$184.
Hair rams were $90-$100 per cwt. Cull ewes were $90-$100.
Ontario Stockyards Inc. reported that 2,496 sheep and lambs and 172 goats traded Dec.12.
New crop lambs sold at premium prices. All other lambs traded actively at higher prices. Sheep sold very actively at higher prices. Goats were steady.