CME lean hog futures ease for a second day

Cattle futures ease as ranchers push forward marketing amid drought
calendar icon 27 July 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) live cattle futures eased on Tuesday, pressured by softening cash cattle prices as ranchers trim herds amid prolonged drought in the Southern US Plains, reported Reuters.

"Marketing is getting pushed forward. Cows are being sent to market because of herd liquidation," said Doug Houghton, technical analyst at Brock Capital Management. "Longer term, that's going to be bullish for cattle prices, because supplies are going to be down."

Cash cattle traded last week from $143.50 per hundredweight (cwt)in the Northern plains to $136.00 per cwt in the Southern plains, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said.

CME August live cattle futures eased 0.875 cents to 136.875 cents per lb, while the most-active October contract lost 0.975 cents to 142.375 cents.

A recent spike in heat killed thousands of cows in Kansas, causing top US cattle feeding companies to send carcasses to a Kansas landfill, while other cattle were buried in unlined graves, one feeding company told Reuters.

Consumer demand remains firm, despite fears of inflation cutting into grocery budgets. Wholesale beef prices firmed, with choice cuts adding $1.00 to $269.11 per cwt, according to the USDA, while select cuts eased $1.12 to $243.88 per cwt.

CME feeder cattle futures eased as corn prices climbed for a second session. CME September feeder cattle futures easing 2.250 cents to 180.425 cents per lb.

Meanwhile, CME lean hog futures eased for a second day, as processors anticipate a seasonal increase in hog supplies heading into the autumn, though recent strength in consumer demand has aided prices, Houghton said.

"As hog supplies increase seasonally going into fall and winter, the question becomes, what is pork demand like?" he said. "Overall, pork prices have been quite strong, and that’s helping underpin the market."

The CME Lean Hog Index, a two-day weighted average of cash hog prices, added 91 cents to $119.13 per hundredweight (cwt).

CME's nearby August lean hog futures lost 0.250 cents to 116.975 cents per lb, while the most-active October hogs fell 0.475 cents to 93.650 cents.

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