Lean hog futures settle down - CME

Live cattle markets reach new high in front-month contract
calendar icon 18 July 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) live cattle futures set a new high in the front-month contract on Monday on technical buying and concerns over tightening US supplies, Reuters reported, citing analysts.

August live cattle reached its life-of-contract high of 181.600 cents per pound before retreating to settle 0.050 cent lower at 180.125 cents per pound.

October live cattle ended down 0.375 cent at 182.250 cents per pound after hitting a contract high last week.

Limited cattle supplies continue to support the market, after US ranchers reduced their herds due to drought and high feed costs, brokers said.

"For the moment it's a bull market that's doing bull market things," a commodity broker said.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide an update on cattle supplies on Friday when it issues a bi-annual inventory report and separate monthly data about the number of cattle on feed.

The USDA on Monday priced choice cuts of boxed beef $306.78 per hundredweight (cwt), up $0.84, while prices for select cuts were lower.

In the feeder cattle market, August futures settled up 2.6 cents at 249.250 cents per pound. That was a record closing price for the contract.

Weaker corn prices helped support the market after feeder cattle eased last Thursday, brokers said.

"It's been a nice two-day recovery in the feeders," a broker said.

In CME lean hogs, August futures settled down 1.425 cents at 94.775 cents per pound. October hogs ended down 1.275 cents at 82.325 cents.

Second-quarter pork output in China, the world's biggest pork consumer and hog producer, rose 4.6% from a year earlier to 14.4 million metric tons, the highest in at least a decade for the period, Reuters calculations based on official data showed.

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