Hog futures firm after 15-month dip - CME

US cattle futures firm on tight supply
calendar icon 9 February 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) cattle futures firmed on Wednesday, supported by tightening cattle supplies and strong cash trade that continue to push front-month futures to near 8-year highs, reported Reuters

"The cash price outlook right now is very firm," said Doug Houghton, technical analyst at Brock Capital Management. "The overall supply outlook is for tightening supplies and higher prices."

CME benchmark April live cattle futures added 0.100 cent to 163.7 cents per pound, while front-month February live cattle gained 0.225 cent to 160.800 cents.

The front-month live cattle contract climbed to 161.500 cents, its highest on a continuous basis since April 29, 2015.

CME March feeder cattle futures eased 0.750 cent to 186.450 cents per pound.

Live cattle traded steady-to-firmer across the US Plains, with some trade in Kansas as high as $159.00 per hundredweight (cwt), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said.

Meat prices were mixed-to-lower, with select cuts easing $4.17 to $253.16 per cwt, while choice cuts firmed 48 cents to $267.20 per cwt, the USDA said.

Hogs firmed after dipping to 13-month lows yesterday, as packers continue to catch up from backlogs in market-ready supplies around the beginning of the year.

"Hog slaughter, which has been running above expectations the last few weeks, may be slowing as supplies tighten," Houghton said.

Packers processed 482,000 head on Wednesday, down 8,000 from the same period a week ago, the USDA said.

Most-active April hogs added 0.800 cent to 84.075 cents per pound, while June hogs gained 1.35 cents to 102.000 cents.

The CME's Lean Hog Index, a two-day weighted average of cash hog prices, last traded up 22 cents to 73.51 per cwt.

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