US cattle futures end mixed - CME

Hog futures sag as pork prices retreat
calendar icon 23 February 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) lean hog futures closed lower on Wednesday, retreating from six-week highs set a day earlier as wholesale pork prices backed down after spiking higher early in the week, reported Reuters.

Live cattle futures closed mixed, underpinned by surging beef prices.

At the CME, April hogs settled down 2.550 cents at 86.550 cents per pound and June hogs ended down 1.475 cents at 103.800 cents.

Hog futures fell after the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) priced the pork carcass cutout late Tuesday at $83.01 per hundredweight (cwt), a drop of $4.71 from Monday's reading of $87.72, which was the highest since December. Monday's jump in the cutout price had lifted hog futures, but the setback late on Tuesday deflated futures on Wednesday.

The pork cutout was little changed on Wednesday afternoon, rising 4 cents to $83.05 per cwt, according to USDA data.

CME live cattle futures closed mixed, with the spot contract reaching a multi-year peak for a seventh straight session as beef prices ticked higher.

Thinly traded February cattle futures settled Wednesday up 0.150 cent at 164.900 cents per pound after reaching 165.050 cents, the highest on a continuous chart of the front contract since January 2015. April cattle, the most active contract, finished down 0.025 cent at 165.075 cents per pound, pausing after a contract high set on Tuesday.

CME March feeder cattle futures settled up 1.100 cents at 187.975 cents per pound, supported by a setback in corn futures that signalled cheaper feed costs.

In the wholesale market, the USDA priced choice cuts of beef late Wednesday at $287.91 per cwt and select cuts at $273.64 per cwt, both the highest readings in more than a year.

In global news, Brazil's beef exports to China will be halted starting Thursday after a case of mad cow disease was confirmed in Brazil's northern state of Para.

Traders await the USDA's monthly Cattle on Feed report on Friday. Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expected the government to report the number of cattle in US feedlots as of Feb. 1 at 11.772 million head, down 3.5% from a year ago. Analysts on average estimated cattle marketings in January at 1.842 million head, up 3.9% from a year earlier.

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