US cattle markets ease slightly - CME

Lean hogs dip as seasonal pressures mount
calendar icon 24 August 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) lean hog futures fell for a third session on Wednesday, as seasonal pressure mixed with weaker pork prices, Reuters reported, citing analysts.

"This time of year for October hogs, it's tough to know which direction to go in," said Joe Kooima, commodity broker at Kooima Kooima Varilek Trading Inc, noting the fundamental headwinds adding to seasonal pressure.

"Cash is weaker, cutout is weaker, weights are a little bit higher than a year ago, so that's strike one, strike two, strike three."

The most-active October futures lost 1.025 cents to 78.550 cents per pound.

Daily hog slaughter of 473,000 head was down from 482,000 the same period last year, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA quoted the wholesale pork carcass cutout at $100.79 per cwt, down 2.86 cents from Tuesday.

Live cattle futures eased slightly, lacking direction as cash trade remains light and analysts wait to see the impact of high temperatures across the US Plains.

"Last week, we just didn't really have a good cash number. So you have to carry that number into the next week, until we hear more," said Kooima. "It’s just the doldrums."

Most-active October live cattle added 0.050 cents to 178.675 cents per pound. October feeder cattle slipped 0.350 cents to close at 250.875 cents per pound.

Packers have been slowing cattle slaughter, only processing 118,000 head, down from 124,000 the same period last year, the USDA said.

Beef packer margins perked up to 64.30 per head, according to Denver-based Hedgers Edge.

Boxed beef prices were steady-firmer, with choice cuts flat at $317.05 per hundredweight (cwt), while select cuts added $2.08 to $291.59 per cwt., according to the US Department of Agriculture.

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