Nearby hog futures end higher ahead of USDA herd data - CME

Live cattle futures rise for third straight session
calendar icon 30 June 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) nearby lean hog futures ended higher on Thursday, as wholesale pork prices rose, cash hog prices firmed and traders awaited quarterly hog data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), reported Reuters.

Benchmark August hogs settled up 1.225 cents at 92.325 cents per pound after reaching 93.0 cents, right at the contract's 100-day moving average. Back months edged lower, with the October contract ending down 0.025 cent at 79.350 cents.

In the pork market, the USDA priced the carcass cutout at $102.90 per hundredweight (cwt), up $3.82 from Wednesday and the highest in eight months, lifted by a nearly $19 per cwt jump in pork belly prices.

The CME lean hog index, a two-day weighted average of cash hog prices, rose by 44 cents to $92.96 per cwt, its highest since Nov. 1.

After the close, the USDA reported the US hog herd as of June 1 at 72.394 million head, a 0.1% increase from a year earlier, bucking trade expectations for a reduction. Analysts surveyed by Reuterson average had estimated the hog herd at 71.808 million head, down 0.7% from a year ago.

"The report overall ... is a bit negative in that it shows more hogs than the consensus," said Dan Norcini, an independent livestock trader.

In the cattle market, CME live cattle futures rose for a third straight session on a bullish fundamental outlook, with tightening US cattle supplies underpinning cash cattle prices.

CME August live cattle futures settled up 0.625 cent at 174.500 cents per pound and October futures ended up 0.650 cent at 177.675 cents.

CME August feeders settled up 2.125 cents at 242.375 cents per pound after setting a three-week high at 242.750, supported by sliding prices for corn that signalled cheaper feed costs.

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