US hog futures end mixed - CME

Feeder cattle futures close higher
calendar icon 22 July 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) lean hog futures closed mixed on Thursday, with the front August contract gaining against back months as a heat wave in the Midwest and Plains helped support nearby cash hog prices, Reuters reported, citing traders.

CME August lean hog futures settled up 1.425 cents at 116.300 cents per lb while most-active October hogs ended down 0.250 cent at 95.775 cents, an unusually wide price spread between the two contracts.

"It's a function of the heat that has made transportation of hogs more challenging for some producers, and maybe led to near-term tightness in the supply of slaughter-ready hogs. That has forced packers to put more money on the table," said Dan Norcini, an independent livestock trader.

The CME Lean Hog Index, a two-day weighted average of cash hog prices, rose to $116.37 per hundredweight (cwt), its highest since June 2021.

Wholesale pork prices backed off from 11-month highs set this week. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) quoted the US pork carcass cutout value at $123.90 per cwt on Thursday afternoon, off 47 cents from a day earlier and down from Tuesday's $125.12, the highest since 13 August 2021.

On the cattle side, CME live cattle futures drifted lower on softer cash values. Market-ready cattle traded in Kansas and Texas at $136 per cwt, down $1 from the bulk of last week's trade in those areas, brokers said.

CME August live cattle futures settled down 0.025 at 135.725 cents per lb and most-active October ended down 0.350 cent at 140.975 cents.

But CME feeder cattle futures closed higher, buoyed by a setback in corn futures that signalled cheaper feed costs. CME August feeder cattle futures rose 0.450 cent to finish at 178.275 cents per lb.

Traders await Friday's monthly USDA Cattle on Feed report. Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expect the government to report the number of cattle placed in feedlots during June at 1.586 million head, down 5% from a year earlier.

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