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CME update: cattle futures fall on uncertain demand

24 July 2020

US live cattle futures eased on 23 July, marking a fourth straight step back after reaching a peak.

Jeff French, an analyst at Top Third Ag Marketing, told Reuters, “The rally last week was kind of counter seasonal. You typically don't rally the cattle in late July, early August, in the dog days of summer," said Jeff French, an analyst at Top Third Ag Marketing. "There's a little bit of a reluctance to push these futures higher."

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) August live cattle futures settled down 0.650 cent at 100.850 cents per pound and October live cattle fell 1.125 cents to 104.600 cents per pound.

CME August feeder cattle futures settled up 0.500 cent at 142.025 cents per pound, while September feeder cattle slid 0.100 cent to 143.175 cents per pound.

The US cattle slaughter has ramped up in recent week, eroding the backlog in cattle supplies that has led to heavier carcass weights. However, USDA data indicates that processors may be through the heaviest animals.

"They had been trending higher and higher, compared to last year, every week. But this week, we've kind of topped out, same as last week," said French.

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