Lean hog futures close mostly lower - CME

Live cattle futures soar
calendar icon 2 June 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) live cattle futures surged on Thursday as cash cattle traded as high as $180 per hundredweight (cwt) in Texas and Kansas, up to $9 higher than last week, reflecting strong demand from meat-packers amid rising beef prices and tightening cattle supplies, Reuters reported, citing traders.

CME's most-active August live cattle futures contract settled up 4.7 cents at 172.375 cents per pound after setting a life-of-contract high at 172.5 cents. August feeder cattle rose 2.475 cents to settle at 241.650 cents per pound after posting a contract high at 242.050 cents.

"Boxed beef prices continue to go higher, cash cattle continue to go higher. (There is) not a whole lot of supply out there, and still a lot of demand," said Ted Seifried, chief agriculture strategist for the Zaner Group.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) priced choice cuts of beef late Thursday at $306.44 per cwt, up 60 cents from Wednesday and the highest since May 10, while prices for select cuts fell 83 cents to $286.32 per cwt.

CME lean hog futures closed mostly lower. The benchmark July contract settled down 1.275 cents at 82.050 cents per pound, halting a two-session recovery bounce after last week's life-of-contract lows.

Wholesale pork prices inched higher, with the carcass cutout up 41 cents at $85.68 per cwt, according to USDA data.

Traders await the USDA's weekly export sales report on Friday, a day later than normal due to Monday's holiday, for a gauge of export demand for US pork and beef.

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