CME update: live cattle futures rise as shifts in pork market could mean increased consumption of beef

Traders report that increased sales of US pork to China could push up prices, spurring US consumers to buy more beef.
calendar icon 14 September 2020
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Reuters reports that expectations for stronger beef demand supported CME cattle futures on Friday 11 September. The new demand for beef comes after Germany confirmed its first case of African swine fever in wild boar.

China and South Korea banned pork exports from Germany in response, leaving the United States and Brazil to fill the shortfall. Traders believe that increased pork exports will push up domestic prices, making consumers turn to beef as an alternative.

October live cattle futures settled up 0.425 cent at 105.525 cents per pound and October feeder cattle ended up 0.975 cent at 140.575 cents per pound.

However, wholesale beef prices softened this week. The USDA reported the choice boxed beef cutout value at $219.89 per cwt on Friday afternoon, down 94 cents from Thursday 10 September and down nearly $6 from a week ago.

Meanwhile, America's capacity to process hogs into pork and cattle into beef is being limited by efforts to physically separate meat-packing workers in plants to lower the risks of spreading COVID-19, analysts said.

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Source: Reuters

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