US hog contracts reach new highs - CME

Live cattle futures rise on wholesale prices
calendar icon 9 April 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) live futures turned higher on Monday, as a flurry of technical trading and strength in wholesale prices helped contracts rebound off recent months' lows, Reuters reported, citing traders.

Feeder cattle futures mostly turned lower, while lean hog futures firmed on demand, traders said.

Live cattle futures last week plunged to the lowest point since mid-January, as concerns about beef demand amid reports of avian influenza in dairy cattle sparked fund long liquidation ahead of the weekend. U.S. officials said on Thursday that avian influenza has infected a dairy herd in Ohio for the first time and was detected in additional herds in Kansas and New Mexico.

Despite assurances from some government officials that food supplies are safe, technical selling accelerated Friday's market drop, traders said.

The ongoing question for futures traders and hedge funds has been whether the public's appetite for beef will chill, just as the US enters into the prime grilling season, said Dan Norcini, an independent livestock trader.

But demand appears to still be firm: On Monday, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported choice boxed beef cutout prices were $301.75 per hundredweight (cwt), up $4.59 from Friday, while select cutout was at $301.48 per cwt, up $6.78.

"That assuaged the market's fears that beef demand among consumers would be choked up and buyers would be pulling back from buying beef," Norcini said.

Meanwhile, the USDA estimated the pork carcass cutout value PRK-MAN-CARCS rose on Monday to the highest since Sept. 19, 2023 - a reflection of strong demand and strength in the cash market, traders said.

CME June live cattle settled up 1.275 cents at 173.325 cents per pound. Most-active May feeder cattle futures settled down 1 cent at 237.175 cents per pound.

Actively traded June hogs reached a contract high of 108.35 cents per pound and settled up 0.025 cent at 107.925 cents per pound.

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