Lean hog futures tumble amid economic fears - CME

Livestock futures fall sharply
calendar icon 10 March 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) live cattle and lean hog futures fell sharply on Wednesday, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continued to fuel worries about the health of global and domestic economies, traders said.

The livestock market also followed a slump in grain and oilseed futures, which continued to be rattled by global supply worries and a sharp drop in the oil markets pressured corn prices, traders said.

"The supply side of the cattle and hog markets is strong, but the question is whether the demand will be there," said Don Roose, president of US Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa.

"What's happening with the US economy - with inflation and rising food and fuel prices - is starting to spook the consumer, who doesn't have government support money under him like before," Roose said.

The livestock complex continued to struggle against uncertainty over the Ukraine crisis, which also pushed some traders to the sidelines, brokers said.

CME April live cattle ended down 1.475 cents at 137.575 cents per lb. April feeder cattle fell 0.175 cent to 160.15 cents per pound, while most-active May feeder cattle dropped 0.375 cent to $165.925 cents, reported Reuters.

Choice cuts of boxed beef rose by 35 cents to $252.79 per cwt, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Wednesday morning. Select cuts dropped by 46 cents to $244.48 per cwt.

In a separate monthly agricultural supply/demand report released Wednesday, the USDA raised its outlook for US fed cattle prices again for the second half of the year, citing firm demand from meatpackers and declining inventories.

The agency also raised its US hog price forecast, citing current higher prices and expectations for strong demand.

CME April lean hog futures closed down 1.775 cents to end at 101.15 cents per pound. June hogs fell 0.75 cent to finish at 113.925 cents per pound.

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