US hogs end mixed - CME

Cattle futures rise as corn prices slide
calendar icon 3 July 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) live cattle futures set a three-week high on Friday, lifted by a surge in feeder cattle futures as corn prices tumbled, Reuters reported, citing traders.

Tightening US cattle supplies and a resilient beef market lent support, along with a strong close for the month and quarter on Wall Street that fuelled optimism about consumer demand for meat.

"Both the product market and some of the outside markets were supportive," said Altin Kalo with Steiner Consulting Group.

CME August live cattle futures settled up 2.675 cents at 177.175 cents per pound after reaching 177.250, its highest since June 7, and October futures ended up 1.875 cents at 179.550 cents.

Feeder cattle futures set life-of-contract highs as Chicago Board of Trade corn futures plunged 6% on larger-than-expected US plantings, signalling cheaper feed costs. Most-active August feeder cattle finished up 5.200 cents at 247.575 cents per pound after recording a contract high at 248.075 cents.

Wholesale beef prices softened. The US Department of Agriculture priced choice cuts at $327.72 per cwt, down 33 cents from Thursday, but still well above year-ago levels and not far from the mid-June peak of $343.09, the highest since August of 2021.

Hog futures closed mixed. Benchmark CME August lean hogs settled up 0.275 cent at 92.600 cents per pound, but traders noted chart resistance at the contract's 100-day moving average near 93 cents.

Back months closed lower, with October hogs down 0.975 cent at 78.375 cents, pressured by bearish data in Thursday's quarterly USDA hog report. The government reported the US hog herd as of June 1 at 72.394 million head, a 0.1% increase from a year earlier, bucking trade expectations for a reduction.

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