Hog futures close narrowly mixed - CME

Cattle futures end higher in light pre-holiday trade
calendar icon 4 July 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) live cattle futures closed higher for a second session on Wednesday, supported by strong wholesale beef prices and light technical trading ahead of the US July Fourth holiday, Reuters reported, traders said.

US markets and government offices will be closed on Thursday for the holiday, with futures trade resuming on Friday.

The CME August live cattle contract settled up 0.825 cent at 185.925 cents per pound.

CME feeder cattle futures also advanced, with the August contract reaching a one-month top as corn futures sagged, signalling cheaper feed costs. August feeders finished up 2.275 cents at 263.375 cents per pound after rising to 263.900 cents, the contract's highest since May 30.

Wholesale boxed beef prices cooled on Wednesday but hovered near the highest levels in a year, defying a seasonal slide that typically occurs in early summer, after retailers finish booking meat supplies for the Fathers Day and July Fourth holidays.

The choice boxed beef cutout price dipped by 70 cents on Wednesday afternoon to $329.69 per hundredweight (cwt), according to data from the US Department of Agriculture. Tuesday's peak of $330.39 was the highest since late June of 2023.

"The rally into the Fourth of July has been impressive," said Matt Wiegand, commodity broker for FuturesOne in Nebraska.

Cash cattle trade remained quiet ahead of the holiday but expectations of firm cash prices this week helped support live cattle futures. Feedlots in Texas and Kansas were offering cattle for $192 per cwt while packers in Kansas were bidding $186 to $188, traders said.

Cargill expected to resume slaughtering cattle on Friday at its Dodge City, Kansas, beef plant, after weekend rains caused a partial roof collapse, the company said on Tuesday.

CME hog futures closed narrowly mixed, anchored by softening wholesale pork prices and ample hog supplies.

Benchmark CME August lean hog futures settled up 0.050 cent at 89.825 cents per pound while October ended down 0.100 cent at 74.125 cents.

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