Hog markets end mixed - CME

Live cattle futures climb on firm cash markets
calendar icon 17 July 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) live cattle closed higher for a second session on Wednesday, lifted by strength in the cash market tied to tightening US cattle supplies, Reuters reported, citing traders, while tumbling corn prices lifted feeder cattle futures.

CME August live cattle futures settled up 1.375 cents at 173.875 cents per pound. October futures ended up 0.950 cent at 177.025 cents.

CME August feeders settled up 1.750 cents at 240.250 cents per pound.

Market-ready cattle traded lightly in Kansas this week at $178 per hundredweight (cwt), down a bit from last week's average of $180, but above August futures, which closed at the equivalent of roughly $174 per cwt.

"Cattle futures, especially the August, are still at a discount to the cash market ... and the long-term outlook is for US cattle supplies to continue to decline next year, forcing prices higher," said Doug Houghton, analyst for Brock Associates.

Wholesale beef prices continued their seasonal summer retreat. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) priced choice cuts of beef on Wednesday afternoon at $327.90 per cwt, down $1.33 from Tuesday, while select cuts were down $1.75 at $296.68 per cwt.

Hog futures ended narrowly mixed on Wednesday as traders squared positions ahead of the USDA's quarterly hogs and pigs report, which is due after Thursday's close. Benchmark August hogs settled Wednesday up 0.050 cent at 91.100 cents per pound, while October hogs fell 0.400 cent to end at 79.375 cents.

Ahead of the USDA's report, analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expect the government to report a slight decline in the size of the US hog herd to 71.808 million head as of June 1, down 0.7% from a year earlier.

The US pork cutout fell $1.08 on Wednesday afternoon to $99.08 per cwt, retreating from a near eight-month high set a day earlier at $100.16.

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