US hog futures gain as pork prices rise - CME

Beef markets end mixed
calendar icon 14 July 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) lean hog futures ended higher on Thursday, buoyed by rising wholesale pork prices and firm cash hog values, Reuters reported, citing traders.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) quoted the wholesale pork carcass cutout at $110.90 per hundredweight (cwt), up 24 cents from Wednesday, and pork bellies rose $17.08 to $174.92 cents per cwt, their highest since last August.

"Pork belly prices have risen sharply in the last few weeks," said Sterling Smith, director of agricultural research at AgriSompo North America. "That creates a natural runway for the hog market."

CME August lean hogs settled up 1.150 cents at 96.500 cents per pound, and the October contract ended up 1.175 cents at 83.350 cents.

Meanwhile, the CME lean hog index, a two-day weighted average of cash hog prices, rose 70 cents to $99.36 per cwt, its highest since mid-September.

Live cattle futures ended mixed as fundamental support from tightening cattle supplies and firm cash markets offset pressure from Wednesday's poor technical close, when the August and October futures set life-of-contract highs, only to retreat and close lower.

"That is a very bad technical chart pattern," Smith said. "I think that created some nervousness (on Thursday) and weighed on things a little bit."

CME August live cattle futures clawed their way back up late in the session and settled 0.025 cent higher at 176.900 cents per pound, while October cattle LCV3 ended down 0.150 cent at 180.100 cents.

August feeder cattle futures FCQ3 fell, finishing down 1.575 cents at 245.000 cents per pound, pressured by a rally in corn futures that signalled rising costs for feed.

The USDA reported export sales of US beef in the week ended July 6 at 9,900 metric tons, down 28% from the prior four-week average. Pork export sales totaled 24,500 tons, down 9% from the prior four-week average.

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