Lean hog futures end narrowly mixed - CME

Live cattle end higher ahead of monthly USDA data
calendar icon 19 April 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) live cattle futures ended modestly higher on Thursday as traders squared positions ahead of a monthly feedlot report due on Friday from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Reuters reported, citing traders.

CME June live cattle settled up 0.050 cent at 175.375 cents per pound, paring gains after reaching a two-week top at 176.275 cents, near the contract's 100-day moving average. The June contract is up about 2.3% for the week so far, recovering after a four-week slide.

CME May feeder cattle futures ended up 2.275 cents at 242.550 cents per pound, supported by a slide in corn futures CN24 that signalled cheaper feed costs. 

Declining wholesale beef prices hung over the cattle markets, capping rallies. The USDA priced choice cuts of boxed beef at $295.80 per hundredweight (cwt), down $1.01 from Wednesday and the lowest reading since mid-February.

Market players have been watching for a seasonal pickup in beef demand from retailers ahead of the Mother's Day and Memorial Day holidays and the start of the summertime grilling season.

Ahead of the USDA's monthly Cattle on Feed report due Friday, analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expected the government to report the number of cattle placed into US feedlots during March at 1.853 million head, down 7% from a year earlier.

CME lean hog futures ended narrowly mixed. The most-active June contract settled down 0.025 cent at 102.700 cents per pound, while July hogs rose 0.050 cent to finish at 104.350 cents.

The USDA priced the pork carcass cutout late Thursday at $99.96 per cwt, up 41 cents from Wednesday.

The USDA reported export sales of US pork in the week ended April 11 at 21,800 metric tons, down 47% of the prior four-week average. Weekly beef export sales totalled 17,700 tons, up 27% from the prior four-week average.

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