Lean hogs climb, live cattle futures fall - CME

Demand for both pork and beef uncertain amid inflation
calendar icon 6 May 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

CME lean hog futures firmed for a second session on Thursday, supported by bargain buying, though demand concerns capped gains, reported Reuters, citing analysts.

"We've got conflicting fundamentals. Seasonally, hog supplies should continue to tighten into mid-summer. But right now there's a lot of demand worry," said Doug Houghton, technical analyst at Brock Capital Management.

Benchmark June lean hogs added 1.975 cents to 107.075 cents per pound. July hogs firmed 2.375 cents to 109.425 cents per pound.

US exporters sold 23,800 tonnes of pork during the week ended 28 April, down 13% from the prior 4-week average, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said. Shipments of 32,200 tonnes were up 8% versus the previous 4-week average.

Hog slaughter remains strong, with 478,000 head slaughtered, in line with year-ago pace.

The CME's Lean Hog Index, a two-day weighted average of cash hog prices, fell 11 cents to $101.04 per cwt.

Meanwhile, live cattle futures fell, pressured by softer cash cattle and uncertain demand for beef amid inflationary pressures faced by US consumers.

"The beef market should be rallying, seasonally, but it's not really showing much life. I think there are still demand concerns," said Houghton.

CME June live cattle futures lost 1.050 cents to settle at 133.775 cents per pound, while August feeder cattle fell 1.825 cents to 174.375 cents per pound.

Cash cattle has eased slightly from last week, with Northern plains trade easing as much as $4.00 to $142.00 per cwt, while cattle in the Southern Plains traded around $140.00 per cwt, unchanged from last week, according to the USDA.

Wholesale boxed beef prices also trimmed lower, with choice cuts falling $4.56 to $255.18 per cwt, while select cuts lost $1.87 to $245.81 per cwt, the USDA said.

Beef exports firmed 28% versus the week prior, with exporters selling 14,600 tonnes of beef last week, the USDA said. Shipments of 20,300 tonnes increased 16% versus the week prior.

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