June hogs reach contract high - CME

Livestock futures turn higher amid rising wholesale prices
calendar icon 10 April 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) cattle futures turned higher on Tuesday, as continued strength in wholesale prices eased concerns about consumer demand - even as investors grew nervous about ongoing inflationary concerns and rising consumer prices, Reuters reported, citing traders.

Meanwhile, lean hog futures continued to firm amid news that China'shog sales rose last month, an indication that the country's hog inventory is showing signs of stabilizing, traders said.

The US Department of Agriculture reported Tuesday morning that choice boxed beef cutout prices were $302.70 per hundredweight (cwt), up 63-cents from Monday, while select cutout was at $301.97 per cwt, up $1.70.

The cash cattle market is expected to be steady to slightly higher this week, given what's happening with the beef cutout values, traders said. But so far, cash traders said sales were limited, with one cash trade in Kansas reported at $182 per cwt and one load of cattle in Iowa trading at $186 per cwt.

Livestock futures traders were also focusing on rising cattle slaughter weights, as a sign that operators may be slowing down the culling of their herds as grain prices fall and pasture conditions improve, said Karl Setzer, partner at Consus Ag Consulting.

"Slaughter weights right now are coming in at 26 pounds heavier than last year, and we're seeing more steers being slaughtered and fewer cows," Setzer said. "To me, that's a sign that the US herd contraction is done for now."

CME June live cattle settled up 1.525 cents at 174.850 cents per pound. Most-active May feeder cattle futures settled up 2.275 cents at 239.450 cents per pound.

Actively traded June hogs reached a contract high of 109.175 cents per pound and settled up 0.650 cent at 108.575 cents per pound. May 2024 through October 2024 contracts also posted lifetime highs on Tuesday.

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