Hog futures finish higher on month-end positioning - CME

Cattle futures end lower
calendar icon 1 July 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) cattle futures turned lower on Friday on technical trading, month-end positioning and ongoing concerns that high retail beef prices could chill consumer demand later this summer, Reuters reported, citing traders.

Wholesale prices firmed in the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) afternoon boxed beef cutout report, which showed that choice cuts were up $2.99 at $326.32 per hundredweight (cwt), while select cuts rose $1.80 at $304.50 per cwt.

That marks 40 days of choice beef cutout prices generally heading higher, with prices now above those seen this spring, said Rich Nelson, chief strategist for Allendale Inc.

And while that continues to add fuel to traders who remain bullish on cattle - particularly feeder cattle futures - some market participants are growing concerned about when consumer price fatigue might set in.

"It's so expensive," one livestock trader told Reuters. "It's just pricing people out."

Meanwhile, lean hog futures ending the day higher as market participants sought to adjust their positions in preparation for quarter-end trading next week, traders said.

Hog futures also saw some support on the continued transportation woes and delivery delays caused by widespread flooding in Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska, market analysts said. The flooding has caused rail lines to be washed out and made some roads impassable.

"There are some big packing plants in those areas, and a lot of road closures," said Karl Setzer, partner with Consus Ag.

USDA reported on Friday morning that pork cutout values had turned higher, with carcasses priced at $99.83 per cwt, up $4.93, while all other cuts also turned higher - with hams jumping up $10.50 to $93.33 per cwt.

On Friday, most-active CME August hogs settled up 1.400 cents to 89.500 cents per pound - and ended the week higher for the first time since mid-April. July hogs closed 0.125 cent higher at 89.575 cents per pound.

CME August live cattle settled 1.025 cents lower at 185.425 cents per pound. CME August feeder cattle ended down 1.350 cents to 259.300 cents per pound.

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