US hog futures close lower - CME

Live cattle futures decline on profit taking
calendar icon 13 July 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) live cattle futures turned lower on Wednesday on a round of profit-taking after most months climbed to life-of-contract highs, with a seasonal downturn in beef prices adding to bearish sentiment, Reuters reported, citing traders.

Most-active August live cattle futures settled down 1.950 cents at 176.875 cents per pound, retreating after rising to a contract high of 181.175 cents. October cattle ended down 1.475 cents at 180.250 cents after peaking at 184.350 cents.

August feeder cattle futures settled down 0.575 cent at 246.575 cents per pound, turning lower after rising to a contract high at 251.300 cents.

In the boxed beef market, the US Department of Agriculture prices choice cuts at $310.98 per hundredweight (cwt), down $1.14 from Tuesday and the lowest since June 2.

Coupled with soaring cash cattle prices, the slide in wholesale beef prices has cut meat packers' profit margins to around $14.50 per head of cattle, from $134.15 a week ago, according to livestock marketing advisory service LLC.

"The beef market has been under pressure for a couple of weeks. So the packer margins are starting to get squeezed," said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based US Commodities.

"Seasonally it is not unusual, the summer doldrums," Roose said, noting that beef demand typically remains slow until the US Labor Day holiday in early September.

CME hog futures also closed lower, retreating from early strength. August lean hogs settled down 2.225 cents at 95.350 cents per pound, and the October contract ended down 0.800 cent at 82.175 cents.

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