Hog futures remain relatively unchanged - CME

Live cattle futures firm amid strong demand
calendar icon 3 June 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group live cattle futures firmed on Thursday, supported by steady cash prices across the US Plains, as well as strength in consumer beef demand, despite inflationary forces, reported Reuters, citing analysts.

"The feeling two, three weeks ago was that beef demand wasn't that good and was going to really start to struggle, given the inflationary pressures we are seeing," said Altin Kalo, economist at Steiner Consulting Group.

Boxed beef prices remain above five-day averages, with choice cuts falling 67 cents on Thursday to $266.75 per cwt, while select cuts firmed $1.28 to $250.19 per cwt, according to US Department of Agriculture Department (USDA) data.

CME June live cattle gained 0.825 cents to 133.625 cents per pound, while the most-active August live cattle gained 1.225 cents to 134.125 cents per pound.

CME August feeder cattle added 3.225 cents to 172.950 cents per pound.

Cash cattle prices have pulled futures higher, Kalo said, ranging from $139 per cwt in the Northern US Plains to $135 per cwt in Texas and Oklahoma, the USDA said.

Packer pace was firm, with processors slaughtering 127,000 head of cattle on Thursday, 3,000 more than a week ago and 6.72% more than same day a year ago.

Meanwhile, CME lean hog futures were little changed after strong gains on the previous day, as analysts attempt to gauge consumer appetite for pork through the summer.

"Everybody's wondering what demand is going to look like, come July and August," said Kalo.

The nearby June hogs contract inched up 0.250 cents to 110.050 cents per pound. Most-active July hog futures eased 0.250 cents to 112.175 cents per pound.

The CME's Lean Hog Index, a two-day weighted average of cash hog prices, fell 24 cents to $104.91 per cwt.

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