Lean hog futures pressured by macroeconomics - CME

Live cattle ease despite cash market support
calendar icon 3 August 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) live cattle futures eased on Wednesday, pressured by macroeconomic weight as a downgrade that stripped the US of its top credit rating rippled throughout markets, Reuters reported, citing analysts.

Despite losses, supportive fundamentals remain for live cattle.

"We’re still going into smaller numbers," said Joe Kooima, commodity broker at Kooima Kooima Varilek Trading Inc. "Weights are gonna be light after this heat episode last week. I would say fundamentally, we’re still fine. It’s just that today, there was more of an influence from the outside world."

CME August live cattle futures eased 1.475 cents to 178.025 cents per pound. Most-active October live cattle fell 1.325 cents to settle at 180.500 cents per pound.

Packers slaughtered an estimated 123,000 head of cattle on Wednesday, down from 125,000 a year prior, the US Department of Agriculture reported.

Boxed beef prices slipped, with choice cuts falling $2.92 to $303.18 per cwt., while select cuts lost $2.13 to $277.47 per cwt., the USDA said.

Beef packer margins also slid, falling to $27.20 a head, versus $64.35 a day earlier, according to HedgersEdge.com.

September feeder cattle futures eased 1.800 cents to 250.100 cents per pound.

CME lean hog futures were also pressured by macroeconomic forces, but remain supported by strong cash trade.

Nearby August lean hog futures fell 1.000 cent to 102.675 cents per pound, while the most-active October contract slipped 0.775 cent to 84.875 cents per pound.

Pork packer margins also declined, falling to $10.42 per head, from $19.75 a day prior, HedgersEdge.com said.

An estimated 448,000 hogs were slaughtered, up from 465,000 hogs a year prior, according to the USDA.

The CME's Lean Hog Index, a two-day weighted average of cash prices, eased to 105.90 per cwt.

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