Lean hog futures settle down - CME

Live cattle futures end mixed
calendar icon 25 July 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Live cattle futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group closed mixed on Monday, with nearby contracts pressured by surging feed grain prices and bearish data in Friday's monthly US Cattle on Feed report, according to Reuters.

CME August live cattle futures settled down 1.275 cents at 178.750 cents per pound and most-active October fell 1.600 cents to 180.300 cents per pound. But back months, including all contracts for 2024 delivery, ended higher on reminders of tightening US cattle supplies.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Friday said producers placed 1.68 million cattle in feedlots during June, up 3% from 2022, while analysts, on average, had expected a decline. The high placements figure suggested that poor conditions persisting on grazing pastures encouraged producers to send more cattle than expected to feedlots last month, analysts said.

However, in a semi-annual cattle report also released late on Friday, the USDA said farmers were raising the fewest number of beef cows since at least 1971, signalling tight cattle supplies overall.

CME August feeder cattle futures fell 2.675 cents on Monday to settle at 243.250 cents per pound as corn futures soared 6%, signaling higher feed grain costs. Corn and wheat futures surged in response to Russia's escalating attacks on Ukraine's grain export infrastructure. 

In the wholesale beef market, prices for choice cuts of boxed beef rose $1.42 to $304.16 per hundredweight (cwt), while select cuts rose 26 cents to $276.99 per cwt.

CME October lean hog futures settled down 1.600 cents at 82.650 cents per pound.

The USDA quoted the wholesale pork carcass cutout at $117.21 per cwt, up $1.96 from Friday.

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