Lean hogs end mixed - CME

Feeder cattle futures retreat from 2015 high
calendar icon 10 March 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Feeder cattle futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) ended lower on Thursday as the front-month contract pulled back from its highest prices in nearly 7-1/2 years, reported Reuters.

Traders took some profits after futures rallied recently on falling corn prices, brokers said, adding that continued declines in the corn market could fuel further gains in feeder cattle.

Corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade fell more than 2%, signaling cheaper feed costs for cattle.

"Feeders are set to really go higher if this corn market continues to weaken and it sure looks like to me that is going to happen," said Dennis Smith, commodity broker for Archer Financial Services.

CME April feeder cattle futures settled 0.925 cents lower at 199.150 cents per pound after setting a life-of-contract high of 200.775 cents.

Thinly traded March feeders settled 0.675 cent lower at 193.075 cents a pound after reaching 194.325 cents, the highest on a continuous chart of front-month feeder cattle futures since October 2015.

"I just think it was a correction," Smith said of the setback. "We haven't done anything to damage this market technically."

Live cattle futures also softened, with the benchmark CME April contract losing 0.650 cent to end at 164.800 cents per pound.

CME lean hog futures, meanwhile, were mixed. The nearby April contract settled 0.675 cent lower at 85.075 cents per pound, while June hogs rose 0.175 cent to end at 100.450 cents.

In demand news, US beef export sales in the week ended March 2 were 5,600 tonnes for 2023, a marketing-year low, the US Department of Agriculture said. Sales were down 31% from the previous week and 67% from the prior four-week average.

Weekly US pork export sales were 22,100 tonnes for 2023, down 29% from the previous week and 44% from the prior four-week average, the USDA said.

Traders said they will look to see if sales improve next week.

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