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CME update: cattle futures slip as market roils from coronavirus

10 April 2020

US Livestock futures slid again on 9 April as market volatility due to coronavirus raised concerns of meat packing closures and surging beef stocks.

According to reporting from Reuters, US cattle futures prices slipped for a second session as traders anticipated a miss-match between beef supplies and retail demand. There were also mounting concerns of meat processors being shuttered, even if the closures were temporary.

"The market keeps trying to carve out a bottom, and we don't seem to be there yet," said Ted Seifried, chief market strategist for Zaner Ag Hedge.

Traders said that beef processing is starting to slow, causing back-ups in the meat supply chain which has already been struggling with stockpiles due to the shuttering of the global food service sector - a significant buyer of meat.

That, in turn, is causing livestock producers economic woe, as cow-calf operators and feedlot owners are still bearing the cost of feeding their animals.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) most actively traded live cattle futures ended the day down 2.300 cents at 84.375 cents per pound. CME May feeder cattle futures settled down 0.425-cent at 118.950 cents per pound, while August feeder cattle futures up 1.325 cents at 128.875 cents a pound.
US markets will close on Friday in observance of Good Friday.

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