Hog futures end mixed - CME

Live cattle futures climb on technical bounce
calendar icon 16 June 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Live cattle futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) closed modestly higher on Thursday on rising wholesale beef prices and a technical bounce after the benchmark August contract dipped to a two-week low, reported Reuters.

The cattle market has been consolidating after a surge to contract highs on June 7 triggered several days of profit-taking and fund-driven long liquidation. But tightening US cattle supplies and strong beef demand continue to offer fundamental support.

CME August live cattle futures settled Thursday up 0.100 cent at 171.075 cents per pound, rallying after a fall in early moves to 169.650 cents, its lowest since June 1.

CME feeder cattle futures declined, pressured by a surge in corn futures that signaled higher feedgrain costs. August feeders ended down 1.775 cents at 234.125 cents per pound.

Beef prices continued to climb. The US Department of Agriculture priced choice cuts on Thursday at $342.07 per hundredweight (cwt), up $3.01 from Wednesday and the highest since August 2021.

Hog futures closed mixed. CME July hogs ended down 0.850 cent at 91.925 cents per pound, turning lower after a rise to 94.3 cents, close to its 100-day moving average and the contract's highest since April 4, while August hogs ended up 0.625 cent at 90.300 cents a pound.

Rising pork prices underpinned futures. The USDA priced the carcass cutout at $90.89 per cwt on Thursday afternoon, up $1.16 from Wednesday and the highest since late December.

This week's hog slaughter continues to lag the year-ago pace, limiting pork supplies. The USDA reported the week-to-date hog slaughter at 1.853 million head, down from 1.868 million a year ago.

Separately, the USDA reported export sales of US pork in the week to June 8 at 26,700 metric tons, up 5% from the previous week but down 2% from the prior four-week average. Weekly beef sales totalled 12,800 tons, steady with the previous week but down 23% percent from the prior four-week average.

In the global marketplace, Taiwan agreed to fully open its market to imports of Canadian beef, lifting a stumbling block as Taipei angles to sign a bilateral investment agreement with Ottawa this year. And China lifted its ban on imports of beef from cattle less than 30 months old from Poland and Belgium.

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