US cattle, hog futures soar - CME

Federal Reserve keeps benchmark interest rates on hold
calendar icon 3 November 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) cattle and hog futures rose on Thursday following broad strength in Wall Street equities, crude oil and other commodities, as investors' risk appetite increased a day after the US Federal Reserve kept benchmark interest rates on hold, reported Reuters.

"The emphasis is really from the 'risk-on' macro play, driven by traders who think the Fed's hawkish stance is coming to an end," said Dan Norcini, an independent livestock trader.

CME December live cattle futures settled 1.050 cents higher at 184.675 cents per pound and February ended 1.250 cents higher at 186.425 cents.

CME feeder cattle futures posted larger advances, with the January contract surging 4.150 cents to settle at 242.175 cents per pound. Declines in CBOT corn futures added support, signaling cheaper costs for feed.

Trade in the cash cattle market was quiet, traders said.

Wholesale beef prices were mixed. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) priced choice cuts on Thursday at $304.53 per hundredweight (cwt), up $2.35 from a day earlier, while select cuts tumbled $4.21 to $274.34 per cwt.

CME lean hog futures rose along with cattle, with the benchmark December hog contract settling 3.125 cents higher at 73.275 cents per pound. The contract pushed through chart resistance at its 40- and 50-day moving averages on its way to a near four-week high at 73.375 cents.

"It was massive wave of short-covering in the hogs," Norcini said, noting that managed commodity funds held a small net short position in hog futures as of Oct. 24.

Wholesale pork prices firmed, with the USDA pricing the carcass cutout at $87.41 per cwt, up 91 cents from the previous day.

The USDA reported export sales of US pork in the week to Oct. 26 at 31,100 metric tons, up 10% from the previous week and up 1% from the prior four-week average. Mexico and South Korea were the top buyers.

Weekly beef export sales totaled 17,100 tons, the USDA reported, down 2% from the previous week but up 71% from the prior four-week average. China was the week's top buyer.

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