Lean hog futures end mixed - CME

US live cattle futures firm on strong cash trade
calendar icon 31 January 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

US live cattle futures firmed on Monday, supported by strengthening cash trade and in anticipation of the US Agriculture Department's biannual cattle inventory report, due out on Tuesday, reported Reuters.

"Historically, the cattle inventory report wouldn't be that big of a market mover. But it is a good check in on where you're at in the cattle cycle," said Alan Brugler, president of Brugler Marketing. "Everyone's anticipating it's going to show fairly substantial herd liquidation."

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is set to release its twice-a-year cattle inventory report on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. ET.

CME February live cattle firmed 2.025 cents per pound to 158.750 cents per pound, the highest on a continuous basis since April 30, 2015.

The most-active April contract firmed 2.525 cents to 163.350 cents per pound, a 1.57% daily gain.

CME March feeder cattle futures gained 0.450 cent to settle at 183.925 cents per pound.

Cattle slaughter was strong to start the week, with 126,000 head processed, up 2,000 head from last Monday and 7,000 more than the same period in 2022, the USDA said. 

Cash cattle traded higher to end last week, firming $1.00 to $156 per hundredweight in both the Northern and Southern US Plains, the USDA said.

Boxed beef prices added support, with choice cuts adding 34 cents to $268.10 per hundredweight (cwt), while select cuts gained 98 cents to $251.52 per hundredweight, the USDA said.

US lean hog futures were mixed on Monday, with nearby February futures easing and Benchmark April hogs firming.

February lean hog futures eased 0.725 cents to 75.150 cents per lb, while most-active April hogs added 0.075 cent to 86.525 cents per lb.

The CME's Lean Hog Index, a two-day weighted average of cash hog prices, added 12 cents to 72.64 per cwt.

Hog processors slaughtered 491,000 head on Monday, the USDA said, up 2,000 head from the same period last week.

The USDA reported pork carcass prices at $80.28 per cwt on Monday, up $1.03 from Friday.

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