US hog futures end weaker - CME

Cattle futures sink to multi-month lows
calendar icon 15 April 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Technical selling, fund liquidation and demand concerns drove Chicago Mercantile Exchange cattle futures to multi-month lows on Friday, Reuters reported, citing analysts.

Jitters over the spread of avian influenza in dairy herds continued to hang over the markets, although the virus has not been detected in beef cattle.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed cases in dairy cattle in North Carolina and South Dakota this week, expanding the outbreak to eight states since the first detection in a herd in Texas on March 25. Traders worry the infections could threaten demand for beef and dairy products since both come from cattle.

"The biggest problem the cattle markets have right now is the headline risk from the avian influence across the dairy cows and the unknown of what's to come," said Ross Baldwin, hedge strategist at AgMarket.Net.

Analysts added that stubbornly high US inflation also raised concerns that beef demand may suffer due to high prices.

CME June live cattle ended down 2.425 cents at 171.475 and hit the lowest price since Jan. 9. The contract eased 0.3% for the week, its fourth consecutive weekly decline.

CME May feeder cattle ended down 3.95 cents at 234.2 and hit its lowest price since Dec. 26. The contract slid 1.7% for the week in its seventh straight weekly loss.

"The feeder chart is extremely ugly," Baldwin said.

Lean hog futures also ended weaker in a setback from contract highs this week. CME June lean hogs tumbled 3.725 cents at 102.075 cents per pound and hit the lowest price since April 1. The contract sank 5.4% this week.

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