Lean hog futures continue to fall - CME

Live cattle futures rise on tight supply
calendar icon 30 December 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group live cattle futures and several deferred feeder cattle futures hit new contract highs on Thursday, as shrinking weights of market-ready cattle and concerns over smaller supplies helped fuel a price rally, Reuters reported, citing traders.

Ongoing concerns over the recent severe winter storm impacting the livestock sector across the US Great Plains is also expected to shrink weights of market-ready cattle, traders said.

"Everyone wants to see the feeders hold their animals a little longer, and slow things down to get those higher cattle weights," said Karl Setzer, brokerage research lead at Mid-Co Commodities.

"The market had been expecting the cash market to slow down the flow of animals going to slaughter, but it hasn't so far," Setzer said. "Now, the futures market is trying to convince producers to do that."

Weakness in the Chicago Board of Trade's corn futures also helped support cattle futures.

Benchmark CME February live cattle rose 1.050 cents to 158.850 cents per pound. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures added 0.575 cents to 186.775 cents per pound.

Cattle slaughter also increased after a slower pace due to last week's winter storm, with 126,000 head processed on Thursday, up from 109,000 head a week ago.

Meanwhile, CME's lean hog futures continued to fall on technical selling ahead of the year-end, while the outlook for early 2023 remains strong, traders said.

CME February lean hogs fell 2.125 cents to 88.675 cents per pound.

Hog slaughter rose to 490,000 head on Thursday, up from 252,000 head slaughtered last week during the winter storm. Slaughter pace is expected to slow during the shortened holiday week.

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