Hog futures sag on lower pork prices - CME

Live cattle futures trade lower
calendar icon 22 September 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Lean hog futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) tumbled on Thursday as a drop in wholesale pork prices coupled with worries about the global economy sparked a round of profit-taking, Reuters reported, citing analysts.

Livestock futures, grains and Wall Street equity markets all declined on Thursday as the dollar set a six-month high one day after the US Federal Reserve signalled policy would remain restrictive for longer. The Fed's stance clouded prospects for US exports and economic growth. 

Meanwhile, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) late Wednesday quoted the wholesale pork carcass cutout at $99.22 per hundredweight (cwt), down $1.91 from the previous day. The cutout fell another 47 cents on Thursday, to $98.75 per cwt, the lowest in a week.

"The pork cutout was down, and I still think there are expectations for the seasonal trend lower to continue in cash (hog) prices. And probably a sense that the (hog futures) rally earlier in the week was overdone," said Doug Houghton, analyst for Brock Associates.

CME October lean hog futures settled down 2.825 cents at 82.950 cents per pound, and most-active December hogs fell the daily limit of 3.750 cents to finish at 74.475 cents, retreating from a 4-1/2-month high set on Wednesday.

Daily limits on lean hog futures will widen to 5.500 cents for Friday's trading session, the CME said.

Hog traders shrugged off decent weekly export data. US pork export sales in the week to Sept. 14 totalled 30,200 metric tons, the USDA said, up 31% from the previous week and up 1% from the prior four-week average. 

Weekly beef sales of 13,700 tons were up 15% from the prior four-week average. 

In cattle markets, CME live cattle futures followed hogs and equities lower as traders awaited the USDA's monthly Cattle on Feed report due Friday. Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expect the government to report the number of cattle in US feedlots as of Sept. 1 at 11.023 million head, down 2.3% from a year ago, and placements into feedlots during August were seen down 6.4% from a year ago.

CME October live cattle futures settled down 1.800 cents on Thursday at 184.975 cents per pound, and most-active December ended down 2.025 cents at 189.500 cents.

October feeder cattle futures settled down 2.800 cents at 257.775 cents per pound.

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